Extending the right to roam: the Countryside Code, Covenant and Christianity

JRI is pleased to announce the publication of Briefing Paper 46, by Shelly Dennison who is employed by the countryside charity CPRE Bedfordshire and is a graduate of the CRES course. This paper explores some of the theological questions which Christians might want to ask when considering their position on any extension to the right to roam and asks whether there is a distinctive voice with which Christians as individuals, or the church as a body, might be able to contribute to the debate.

It sets out the current situation and presents the campaign to extend the right to roam through a summary of the arguments being given for and against such a change. The consideration of a Christian response uses the themes of respect, protect and enjoy from the Countryside Code as a framework for considering how matters of Covenant (and in particular Old Testament land rights and responsibilities), justice, a theology of place and belonging and a theology of housing and home might assist in finding a balance to needs frequently seen as being in competition with each other. The paper’s focus is to encourage a greater understanding of people’s relationships to land (or the lack of them) so that both human and non-human may flourish.

The briefing paper is available as a PDF download from the Briefings Page and from this link.