About Richard

After a successful scientific career, in a discipline far removed from climate change, I felt a call to do something different in 2017 and became Lay Pastor at Bramhall Methodist Church. Last year (2021) I led a Climate Year during which the church focussed on how it should engage with the climate emergency in the lead up to the CoP 26 meeting in Glasgow.

At the end of that year I felt I wanted continue my interests in this area so resigned from my post at the church.Since then I’ve been involving myself in a number of projects as a volunteer and exploring how I can support myself with paid employment in this area. This blog-site is to allow me to share some of the things I’ve been working on over this time.

You can contact me at richard.baker.1593@gmail.com.

About the Large Blue

Butterflies in general, can be regarded as a Christian symbol of resurrection. More specifically the Large Blue butterfly is an exmaple of what can happen if we listen to scientists and take appropriate action. In the light of so much that is challenging about climate change, it is a symbol of hope.

The species became extinct in the United Kingdom in 1979 largely due to intensive agriculture reducing the areas of unimproved grassland in which it thrived. Scientific studies revealed the exact nature of the problem and allowed conservationalists to plan for its reintroduction. Today the butterfly breeds at 33 sites across the South West of England. (The full story is actually more complex and wonderful and you can read about it at this link.)

Last year I made a large model of the butterfly with the intention of marching with it at the public demonstration during the middle weekend of the CoP 26 meeting in Glasgow in November 2021. Here’s a picture of it hanging in our church before we left.

Unfortunately, despite having lived in Scotland for seven years it had never occurred to me that it might be windy in Glasgow in November and it wasn’t safe to unfurl the butterfly in the midst of so many people. There was more space at Glasgow Green at the end of the march and we were able to walk with it for a short distance.

Since returning from Glasgow I’ve taken the butterfly around a number of different churches when I’ve led worship which has focussed on the climate emergency.

Large Blue on tour