Saving our Wild Isles

Published 17th April 2023 by Aike Kennett-Brown

It’s become our family habit to snuggle up on the sofa and watch the latest BBC David Attenborough series Wild Isles. Over the past five weeks we’ve marvelled at the powerful predators that patrol UK shores and mountaintops; understood how Britain and Ireland’s position on the globe gives us special importance for wildlife internationally, welcoming migrant birds from the south in summer and from the north in winter; and we have witnessed the intimate lives of slugs and snakes!
Nature is awesome. This series has beautifully displayed the interconnectedness of all life. No wonder when God saw all that was made, God declared it ‘very good’ (Genesis 1:31). What an opportunity we have at Messy Church to link this phenomenal photography to our awesome creator God and to take up our commission to ‘be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air, for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth’ (Genesis 1:28 MSG). 
However, as we watched the ‘extra’ episode Saving Our Wild Isles, it’s all too evident that we have abused our power as humans. Not only do we have a broken relationship with God, but we have a broken relationship with the land we live on. Our contemporary prophet, Sir David Attenborough, calls us out on this:
In the UK, one-quarter of all our species of mammals and one-third of birds risk extinction. In 20 years, our flying insects have declined by 60%. We are now one of the most nature-depleted countries on the planet. Too often we’ve regarded nature as something that’s nice to have but ignored that it underpins everything that makes our lives possible. We need to repair our relationship with the natural world. We have a few short years in which we can still make a choice. Just enough remains of the natural world to enable it to recover. This starts and ends with US.Sir David Attenborough, Saving our Wild Isles, 2023
How will we respond? We have a moment in time to make a real difference to how we use the resources around us, to create safe and welcoming spaces for all of God’s creatures. Messy Church is taking on this challenge through our Messy Church Goes Wild movement. Whether you meet indoors or outdoors, we all have a responsibility to be more eco-aware in all we do by thinking about how we travel to and from Messy Church, the activities and materials we use choose, what we do with our waste and how we disciple people to care better for God’s creation. To help you on this journey, we offer the following support:

Buy the book: Messy Church Goes Wild
Sign up for a Messy Church Goes Wild Zoom Masterclass on 25 May @ 1.00 pm or 28 June @ 7.30 pm.
Try out the new Messy Adventures: Twelve units of material to give you the tools and confidence to take Messy Church outdoors. Download the PDF for free or buy the book.
Sign up for the Messy Adventures webinar on 17 May @ 7.30 pm and hear from the writers, scientists and teams who created and tested the material.
Experience hands-on training at a Messy Church Goes Wild roadshow. The next one is coming soon on 22 April: Wellington (10.00 am) book here and Clevedon (3.00 pm) book here.

What one thing will you choose to do differently to enable the natural world to recover?
Aike Kennett-BrownBRF Messy Church ministry lead
Picture – Sir David Attenborough introduces the Wild Isles series at dawn at Old Harry’s Rocks, Dorset. Image © BBC Silverback Films, Chris Howard.

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