Queensland Anglicans marked Australia’s Overshoot Day today with bell tolling across the south-east and a vigil outside the electoral office of the Assistant Minister for Environmental Management the Hon Trevor Evans MP, calling for bold climate action by 2030.
“Overshoot Day” is the day each year when 12 months of the Earth’s regenerative resources are consumed, with Australia’s Overshoot Day reached today and Earth Overshoot Day reached mid-year.
The Anglican Dean of Brisbane The Very Rev’d Dr Peter Catt, who led the prayer vigils at the Cathedral and outside Evans’ office, said that Australians are amongst the highest per-capita consumers of natural resources and that we need to steward these resources with the same common sense as people approach their finances.
“Australians consume the Earth’s resources at a much higher rate than most of humanity, reaching our Overshoot Day in March because we consume what the Earth provides four times faster than it can regenerate,” Dr Catt said.
“We are drawing upon the Earth’s resources in the same way that bad managers of finance draw upon capital, and we can do better.
“As part of stewarding resources sustainably, we need to commit to reducing fuel emissions by at least 50 per cent by 2030.
“Inspired by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, we need to see all of nature as sacred, taking better care of it now for future generations.”
Dr Catt gathered with other people of faith in a vigil this morning outside the Albion electoral office of the Hon Trevor Evans MP, where they sang hymns and prayed.
Dr Catt, who is a constituent of Evans’ electorate of Brisbane, and those who gathered were locked out of Evans’ office, so they were forced to slip their written requests for action under his office door.
Bells tolled and candles were lit for the Earth at numerous other Anglican churches across south-east Queensland, including in Toowoomba, Montville and Nerang.
Assistant Curate at St James’, Toowoomba, The Rev’d Melissa Conway, gathered with Anglicans and people from the wider Toowoomba community in the church’s courtyard, tolling the bells 11 times.
“I was raised in Toowoomba and recently returned here for my first ministry appointment,” The Rev’d Conway said.
“Toowoomba people want to protect our beautiful rural lifestyle and our native animals and plants, and the heritage of our region, which has been cared for for millennia.
“Today we tolled the church bells 11 times to mark the eleventh hour as we call for immediate climate action.”
In the reflection that she gave during the service, The Rev’d Conway said that we need to treat the Earth, including people, with fairness.
“We need to take better care of the Earth, including of each other,” she said.
“The three values of Earth care, people care and fair share are universal values and are for people of all faiths and none.”
On the Sunshine Coast at St Mary’s Anglican Church in Montville, parishioners and other locals also observed Australia’s Overshoot Day by tolling the church’s bells.
Priest-in-Charge of the Parish of Maleny-Montville-Kenilworth, The Rev’d Deborah Bird, said that St Mary’s parishioners marked the day by gathering to pray, recite poetry and toll bells, while reflecting on the diversity of the Sunshine Coast’s picturesque terrain.
“At 11 am we gathered under the St Mary’s bell tower, and in poetry and prayer we acknowledged our kinship with creation and expressed our yearning for the conservation of life,” The Rev’d Bird said.
“During the time of reflection, we tolled the bells – a reminder to ourselves and our neighbours that we treasure this beautiful place that gives life to us in so many ways.
“From the ranges and valleys to the forests and beaches, the real beauty of the Sunshine Coast is its demonstration that life in all its forms thrives wherever creation is respected.”
At the Parish of Nerang’s weekly Wednesday service, congregation members sang hymns with an environmental theme and prayed for the Earth.
Priest-in-Charge of the Parish of Nerang, The Rev’d Andrew Schmidt, said that his congregation focused on the need to care for the Earth for future generations.
“Given the recent flood events here and just to our south, it would be easy to focus on a message of fear, but we choose to pray for justice and hope for our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, that they might have the chance to enjoy walking along our stunning beaches and resting in the cool of the hinterland, as we do today,” The Rev’d Schmidt said.
The global Earth Overshoot Day for 2022 will be announced on 5 June 2022, with last year’s Earth Overshoot Day reached on 29 July.Jump to next article