Last Tuesday I went to St Paul’s Cathedral in London for the launch of a new initiative, Eco Church.
It’s an award scheme for churches in England and Wales who want to demonstrate that the gospel is good news for God’s earth.
It has been devised by A Rocha UK, a Christian charity working for the protection and restoration of the natural world.
Eco Church has been designed to help churches integrate environmental care throughout their church life and covers five key areas: worship and teaching, management of church buildings, management of church land, community and global engagement and lifestyle.
An online survey allows churches to record the actions they have already taken and offers resources to help them introduce new practices.
Points are earned and count towards a bronze, silver or gold Eco Church award.
About 300 people gathered in the cathedral’s crypt for the launch and to hear Dr Ruth Valerio and Rev Nigel Hopper of A Rocha UK talk about their vision for the scheme.
They look forward to a time when the local church’s involvement in care for the environment is commonplace.
The keynote speaker for the event was the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams.
He shared his concern that the most vulnerable people in the world are already suffering the effects of climate change but encouraged us that, if we all work together, we can make a difference.
He reminded us that, as Christians, we believe that the earth is God’s and we are stewards of what He has created.
We have a responsibility to the next generation to care for what we have been given and to leave them a beautiful world to enjoy.
At the launch, St Paul’s Cathedral were presented with their Bronze Award making them the first Eco Church in England.
At Hart Plain Church we have started our journey towards becoming an Eco Church too and I hope that, through this scheme, we can help to make the world, and our community, a little greener!
If you would like to find out more about A Rocha and Eco Church, visit ecochurch.arocha.org.uk
If you would like to find out more about Hart Plain Church, please visit hartplain.org.uk or contact the parish office on (023) 9225 4452 or email firstname.lastname@example.org