David Chillingworth is one of the seven diocesan bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church, He was ordained as bishop of the Diocese of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane on 5 March 2005. On 13 June 2009, Chillingworth was elected the Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church. He was born in Dublin and studied classics at Trinity College, Dublin, theology at Oriel College, Oxford, and trained for the ordained ministry at Ripon College, Cuddesdon.
For Bishop David environmental ministry is important because “I live in a beautiful country and because I see the environment as a one of our most important links with the action of God the creator. I have also come to understand that the environment is a strong part of our connection as people. When I listen to people from Kenya and Burundi explaining to me the difficulties which climate change cause for farmers, my vision and understanding of these issues is enlarged and put in the context of our care for one another.”
The Scottish Episcopal Synod has made it one of the main goals of their meeting to establish a report from the Church’s Rural Commission on issues affecting people living in rural areas of Scotland and the role of the Church in responding to these issues and a call for theological and practical responses to the sustainability of the environment.
Along with other Scottish religious leaders, Bishop David has taken a stand for creation, signing a letter to the Prime Minister, which expressed ‘moral outrage’ at the West’s failure to help developing nations cope with climate change. The Church has also been working with the Church of Bangladesh through the Bangladesh Social Development Program, which aims to promote a wider awareness of climate change and how it is affecting Bangladesh and ultimately the whole planet.
He is interested in the relatively new innovation of synthetic cells which offer a range of possibilities from creating new bio-fuels, clean water, new ways of cleaning up pollution, new vaccines and drugs, new sources of food. Even though the issues are still laden with ethical and complexity dilemmas, he is excited about the potential it may serve in assisting with some of the environmental issues we are faced with and engaging in dialogue to best move forward with new technology which can ensure the maximum benefit for the whole of humanity.