Bishop Jane was born in England and worked as a music teacher As a child she was forbidden from attending any religious classes at school by her father. It was not until she was 25 that she was baptized with her eldest child in the Church of England. She moved to Canada in the 90’s where she achieved a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and a Masters in Theological studies. She was consecrated as Bishop of Edmonton in 2008.
Environmental challenges are very close to Bishop Jane’s heart. Alberta’s oil sands are among Canada’s largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and are also responsible for deforestation, contaminated tailing ponds, and the use of large quantities of water. While the majority of Alberta’s oil production takes place north of the diocese, Edmonton is a center for refineries. She calls for a balance to be found between the economy, the national use of petroleum products, and our care of creation. Local campaigners and Alberta First Nations are concerned about water pollution, destruction of animal habitat and oil sands industry encroachment on their traditional territories. Global concerns centre on the climate change impact.
Through all the problems we must look forward to making positive changes. The Bishop says there has been “a ‘divorce’ between ourselves and creation.” Our mindset can shift from viewing “creation as a resource to be used up” to a positive outlook of care and respect. She has been encouraged by discussions and actions among young people who have a refreshing interest in doing things differently. She calls for the need of repentance and for the start of a new conversation.