19 February: Revd Christine Broad

“You shall not pollute the land in which you live, for blood pollutes the land, and no atonement can be made for the land for the blood that is shed in it, except by the blood of the one who shed it. You shall not defile the land in which you live, in the midst of which I dwell, for I the Lord dwell in the midst of the people of Israel.”

Numbers 35: 33-34


Download a PDF of this reflection to share with others in your parish or to print and post to those who might prefer the reflections in a physical format. 

A reflection from the Revd Christine Broad, Vicar of Holy Cross Woodchurch and Dean of Women in Ministry


Behind the stark words of Numbers 35 is a simple understanding that human behaviour which breaks God’s commandment of Exodus 20:13 “You shall not murder” defiles, or pollutes the land. Responsibility to keep this commandment rests with each individual member of any given community.  There is a relationship between human obedience to God’s laws and the holiness of the earth, the world. The ancient Israelites knew something which later generations may only just be rediscovering. But you and I wouldn’t commit murder would we? I hope not! But when I make an unnecessary journey by car and churn out the resulting pollutant gases into the environment,  perhaps I am putting my own need for convenience before the needs of my sisters and brothers for clean air, and that is questionable behaviour. 

Do I really need to use my car for journeys of less than a mile or so when I could walk to the destination in less than 20 minutes? My car was out of action for a little while last year and I found that I could, in fact, do a lot more walking than I had been used to and as well as making a smaller contribution to the planet’s greenhouse gas levels I also found that this was good for my own wellbeing!

Are there other ways in which putting my own needs before the needs of my brothers and sisters across the planet contributes to the pollution of the air, land or water? Can I make some different choices that will show obedience to all of God’s commandment;  love for my sisters and brothers and better care of the Earth?

A prayer

Creator God,

help me to take account of the needs of my sisters and brothers in the choices I make today, in Jesus’ name,


Revd Christine Broad,
Vicar of Holy Cross Woodchurch and Dean of Women in Ministry



Information Point

If 10% of Churches register and 5% gain the bronze award Chester Diocese would be well on the way to achieving Eco Diocese status.  Register your Church today and find out more about Eco Diocese by following the link. 

Eco Diocese - Eco Church


Page last updated: 15th February 2021 1:17 PM