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Girl Bishop Emily Albury urges congregation of St Mary's Fordingbridge to 'preserve' the world

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AN eco-themed sermon on people doing their bit to “preserve the wonderful natural world God gave us” was delivered by Emily Albury for her final address as Girl Bishop for Avon Valley churches.

Every year St Mary’s church appoints a Girl or Boy Bishop, usually from the choir, who reigns from the first Sunday of December to the first Sunday of January.

The mediaeval tradition was customary in cathedrals when the bishop would leave his throne and a Boy Bishop would take his place.

Girl Bishop Emily Albury gave emotional final sermon
Girl Bishop Emily Albury gave emotional final sermon

Talking to the congregation of St Mary’s in Fordingbridge, 11-year-old Emily told them: “One of the greatest gifts I think God gave us is nature.

“Whether it’s just a tree at the side of a supermarket car park, a bush in a garden or even a pot plant in the house, nature is all around us. Some of you might be lucky enough to live in the beautiful New Forest or even by the sea and have these fabulous natural wonders just beyond your back garden.”

She urged people to help protect the environment by using renewable energy, walking or cycling instead of driving, eating less meat and recycling.

An animal lover, Emily also talked about the effect climate change was having on animals. such as polar bears and Arctic foxes saying that the main culprit was burning fossil fuels.

She urged people to plant trees and ended her sermon by encouraging the congregation to “do something this year to help preserve the wonderful natural world God gave us”.

Emily has been giving permission by the church’s Canon Gary Philbrick to "flower bomb" an area of the graveyard with wild plants to encourage bees and butterflies.

Asked how she felt about being Girl Bishop, Emily said: “I really enjoyed being Girl Bishop because it shows that girls can be bishops as well as boys.”

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