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A feature of life in the Manse at Southend is the annual arrival of swallows.
They nest in the garage and under the eaves, and the car has to be parked outside, away from the buildings, with everything inside covered.
The last two years have seen a dramatic decline in numbers, and so far this year, only one pair has been spotted.
We delight in seeing the return of the birds as a sign of spring. Millions watch Springwatch on the television and I heard the UK spends twice as much on feeding wild birds as the rest of Europe put together.
Yet, at the same time, humans develop the environment that nurtures wild birds and animals.
Those who work to improve the environment for wildlife are doing an invaluable job. Yet, there is a danger of thinking humans can solve all the problems, and we remake the world in our own image.
You will have heard the famous story of the minister standing looking at a newly ploughed field, when the farmer comes along.
‘What a beautiful field,’ says the minister. ‘We must thank God for His creation.’
‘Aye,’ replies the farmer, ‘but you should have seen it when God had it to Himself!’
In physics, the second law of thermodynamics establishes that the world needs an input of energy every now and then to keep the planet suitable to sustain life as we know it.
For many scientists, as for people of faith, this input of energy can be attributed to God.
If we work with Him, remembering it is His creation, surely we have a much better chance to keep it sustainable for life as we know it.
Steve Fulcher, Church of Scotland, South Kintyre Team Ministry.