Project Description

Mary Colwell (UK) is a writer, producer and public speaker on our relationship with the natural world. She works widely with church groups and others to raise environmental awareness, and she is a passionate campaigner to save Britain’s endangered curlew population. 

Extract from Mary Colwell, “Faith and Nature: would Jesus weep for an eider duck?” in Visions and Vocations:

In my experience, the Holy Spirit can be compared to a mountain path in mist. The way ahead appears and then disappears, seemingly at random.  Sometimes the track is obvious for miles into the distance, at others it is only possible to take one step forwards, and hurriedly, before the view is obliterated. If you have ever been caught out on a mountain in low cloud you will know how disconcerting a white-out can be, and how elating it is when all becomes clear again and the view spreads out before you in breathtaking more

 My environmental journey is a mountain trek, but unlike a real mountain which has a summit to tick and a route back down again, this path seems to wind its way through ever-higher ranges that are ever-more mysterious – but every step of the way is worth it. 

A few years ago, I left work one lunchtime and went to Clifton Cathedral in Bristol to spend some quiet time alone. Suddenly, it was as though the richly coloured, stained glass windows melted away and the view outside became crystal clear. I felt that I could see the whole world.  Every leaf was shining and every blade of grass was a brilliant green. The flowers were blooming and gently swaying in a wind that was not just blowing but dancing. The music of the birds was clear and bright. I was overcome with a sense of love for this astonishing planet we live on, but at the same time a deep feeling of dread spread throughout my body. The same words kept reverberating in my head: “Is it too late? Is it too late to do something?” I was acutely aware of the destruction taking place throughout the earth, and that doing nothing to help was not an option, but I had no idea what that something was. The instruction was clear, though. For those few moments the mist had cleared and a path revealed itself that was impossible to ignore – but where was it leading? I did not know but so wanted to find out. All too soon the mist closed in again and the view was lost. The brightness of the vision faded to normality.  But I knew the path was there.