Caring for God’s creation
Human-induced climate change and ecological degradation around the world are now a matter of well-accepted scientific fact. The deepening global crisis will fundamentally affect the lives of all of us – it is already having a devastating effect on those in developing countries – and its effects will be unimaginably worse for future generations.
Many communities, organisations and individuals are responding with ambitious plans to play their part in responding to this crisis. As Christians, we believe that God calls us to care for creation, to help those in need, and to seek justice and peace; so we ought to be stepping up to advocate for change, both locally and globally.
In February 2020, the Church of England’s General Synod set new targets for all parts of the church to ramp-up efforts to reduce harmful emissions and become carbon ‘net zero’ by 2030. Over recent months, despite the struggle against Covid-19, we have seen actions increasing across the wider church, and specifically in the Diocese of Oxford, to recognise the global climate emergency and to encourage a response from individuals and church communities.
All Saints Marlow already has a good track record of energy saving activities and raising awareness of care for creation, resulting in the church achieving an Eco Church bronze-level award in 2018. However, at the Church Council meeting in November 2020, support was given to a proposal to renew and invigorate these efforts, and specifically to:
2021 has therefore seen All Saints re-energising our Eco Church engagement and participation across the breadth of church life, including undertaking a 4-week ‘Doxecology’ series in September to understand more about how we combine the praise of God (‘doxology’) with concern for the world he has made (‘ecology’). Following lots of work behind the scenes, and some activities that have been more visible, we were very pleased to achieve an Eco Church Silver award in November 2021.
Eco Church is an award scheme for churches in England and Wales who want to demonstrate that the gospel is good news for God’s earth and that caring for creation as an integral part of loving their neighbours and following God faithfully. It is operated by A Rocha UK – a charity committed to helping Christians in the UK to care for the natural world.
The online survey and supporting resources are designed to equip churches to express care for God’s earth across five themes: in worship and teaching; in how to look after buildings and land; in how to engage with the local community and in global campaigns, and in the personal lifestyles of the congregation.
To get more information about Eco Church, and to get involved, please contact Paul Taylor via firstname.lastname@example.org
As part of our Eco Church efforts, All Saints Marlow will bring you regular updates with news, progress and ideas of how to get involved, as well as ways for you to engage personally and make a difference.
You can read more about these updates by downloading our latest Eco Church newsletter.