Mission and the Environment in London and India: A Personal Report and Reflection

Author: Rev Dave Bookless, Director of A Rocha UK

Abstract:

Geographers may beg to differ, but I believe that India and the UK share a common border. Linked by history, economics, bureaucracy, the English language, cricket and curry, it is hard to imagine one without the other. I have spent most of my life along the border between India and the UK. Born in Calcutta (now Kolkata) to missionary parents, India was my home until I was ten, and gave me a love for wildlife, cricket and virtually all things Indian. I went on to study Gandhian politics and then Comparative Religion at University, and, worked in turn as a teacher and advisor in Muslim-majority schools in Bradford, and a curate and vicar in Sikh-dominated Southall. Since 2000, I have remained in Southall, but as UK Director for A Rocha, the international Christian environmental mission (www.arocha.org). A Rocha’s rapid international growth has left me with an additional brief to work alongside the emerging A Rocha India, leading to visits in 2000, 2003 and 2004-5 totalling 4 months. This paper is a very personal reflection, from somebody whose heart is in cross-cultural mission, and who has stumbled unexpectedly into environmental concerns as a direct consequence of biblical missiology.

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