Eco Church

Climate change is a reality. We all have a responsibility to care for creation and for this world. There is still time but we must act now both as individuals and collectively as church. We are now registered as an Eco Church. But this is only a beginning for us.

21st April 2021 Church News

Climate change is a reality which will affect us all, and our children and grandchildren. We have not cared for creation as we should have done. The need to do so is woven throughout scripture from the Book of Genesis to the words of Jesus. It is our responsibility as Christians, both as individuals and as church acting together.

It is not too late to act, to show that we do care. The Diocese of Durham has adopted Care for Creation as one of its key strategic aims. The National Church is committed to being carbon neutral by 2030. 

The PCC of St Mary’s has endorsed this and is committed to taking steps to involve the whole church in this and encourage people to change their lifestyles. Eco Church is an approach that can be taken so that we can all make a contribution towards this. With the agreement of the PCC we have now registered as an Eco Church.

We need the whole of our congregation to get involved with this. It’s your future and our future and we all need to take this seriously, even if we can only do a little to help. If you want to know more about how you can get involved you can log on to the Eco Church website at https://.ecochurch.arocha.org.uk.

You can register as an individual and then join the St Mary’s ‘team’ by following the simple instructions. You will see the progress made so far and that we have already achieved Silver and Bronze Awards in some categories.

What does this mean? Well, there are five categories and for each there is a survey comprising a series of questions. Answering these questions produces a score which translates into an award level, either Gold, Silver or Bronze (or no award if the score does not meter one so far). Abi Littlefair and John Trevett from our congregation have worked through the survey and our scores are

  • Worship and Teaching – Silver
  • Building – Bronze
  • Community and Local Development – Bronze
  • Land – no award
  • Lifestyle – no award

As can you we’ve made some progress but there’s still some way to go and we can all contribute to this.

For example in the Land category we might think about placing bird boxes, hedgehog boxes, bug hotels and wildlife feeding stations in the church grounds. We could conduct wildlife surveys.

There’s even more we an do in the Lifestyle category. We can promote walking and cycling and the reduction of car use, promote Fair Trade, encourage recycling and reducing our energy use as both church and individuals. We could also promote LOAF (Local sources Organically  Farmed, Animal Friendly and Fairtrade). We can do things like avoiding using compost containing peat. There’s also a tool on the site to help you measure your carbon footprint.

This is just the start. Let’s all get involved, and let’s aim to achieve Gold Award status in all five categories if we can.

We have now set up a Team as part of the PCC teams initiative. Abi Littlefair is convening this team and other members include John Trevett, Astley Fenwick, Helen Goodman and David Walker. If you would like to become more involved and want to be part of this team you can contact Abi or the PCC Secretary (David Walker).

Recent events in North America and in Europe have emphasised the effect of climate change ultimately on all of us. It is imperative that we do something and all of us, no matter how small, make a contribution to this problem facing our planet and God’s creation.

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