Archbishop’s New Year message on YouTube

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams will broadcast his New Year’s message on You Tube and on the BBC later today, following the lead of Queen Elizabeth II who released her Christmas message the same way.

Williams says that a sustainable approach to the environment also demonstrates important truths about God and the world. In his message, filmed in Canterbury Cathedral and in a nearby recycling center, Dr Williams links the exploitation of the environment with the abuse and waste of human relationships.

“In a society where we think of so many things as disposable; where we expect to be constantly discarding last year’s gadget and replacing it with this year’s model – do we end up tempted to think of people and relationships as disposable? Are we so fixated on keeping up with change that we lose any sense of our need for stability?”

“A lot of the time, we just don’t let ourselves think about the future with realism. A culture of vast material waste and emotional short-termism is a culture that is a lot more fragile than it knows. How much investment are we going to put in towards a safer and more balanced future?”

God, he says, ‘does not do waste’ and does not regard human life as disposable:

“He doesn’t regard anyone as a ‘waste of space’, as not worth his time – from the very beginnings of life to its end, whether they are successful, articulate, productive or not. And so a life that communicates a bit of what God is like, is a life that doesn’t give up – that doesn’t settle down with a culture of waste and disposability – whether with people, or with things.”

The message will be seen on BBC 2 at 2030 GMT (3:30 pm EST) on New Year’s eve and again on BBC 1 at midday (7 am, EST) on New Year’s Day.

Read: Ekklesia: Williams’ New Year message warns of a throwaway society

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