18 March: Jane Hill

The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun? A generation goes and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. The sun rises, and the sun goes down, and hastens to the place where it rises.

Ecclesiastes 1: 1-5

A reflection from Jane Hill, St Mary’s, Upton


Humans need to toil and labour in order to survive. What is vanity, or in vain, is taking more than we need from the Earth’s resources and the pursuit of wealth, which does not bring happiness in the long term. By our exploitation of the land and our plundering of the seas, we disrupt the forces of nature, destroy habitats and contribute to climate change and global warming. The Ecclesiastes passage assures us that the Earth will endure and remain forever, but if global temperatures continue to rise unchecked, what will happen to nature, and will human beings survive?

Now is the time to act before it is too late. Since I was a young child with my Observer’s books, I have always loved nature and wanted to protect it. I was influenced by Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” and “Pesticides and Pollution” by Kenneth Mellanby, both written in the 1960’s and was inspired to study Zoology and do research on Ecology and Animal Behaviour. I now manage our church’s Conservation Area. The warnings about the influence of human beings on nature and the planet have been there for a long time. As Christians, who are called to care for God’s creation, we must do everything possible as individuals and churches to preserve the Earth’s wonders and resources and to influence Governments to work together to tackle climate change.

A prayer

Dear Father God,

Please help and guide us as individuals and as churches to work together to care for your wonderful creation and to help prevent climate and global warming.


Jane Hill,
St Mary’s Upton



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