An Eco Church
Picture by Elsie Clay from Bentley Heath School - winner of the Eco competition
WE CAN LIVE DIFFERENTLY
Following on from an informative Eco Weekend at St Philip's Church Centre, we are encouraging people to make pledges and commit to small changes as we all do our bit to help the climate crisis.
There is a table in the foyer at St Philip's where you can register your pledges, or make them online by ticking the box next to each pledge you will commit to and click send form at the bottom.
At St Philip's with St James', we include caring for God’s creation as an integral part of our mission in Dorridge, Bentley Heath and beyond.
So, what are we doing so far?
is a programme run by A Rocha UK, that provides a comprehensive structure to
help churches and church communities express their care for God’s world; in our
worship and teaching, in how we look after our buildings and land, in how we
engage with our local community and in global campaigns, and in the personal
lifestyles of our congregation. You can find out more on their website ecochurch.arocha.org.uk
We have now registered with the Eco Church programme, and have obtained our first award, Bronze. There are three levels, Bronze, Silver and Gold, for both individual churches and for dioceses. We will be working toward our Silver award over the coming months. There will be lots of opportunities for people to get involved as we move forward on this.
This is an initiative organised by Churches Together, with
support from Christian Aid, CAFOD, Tearfund, A Rocha UK, Operation Noah and
others. It ties in smoothly with Eco Church, and with the Church of England’s
and Birmingham Diocese’s target to become net carbon zero as regards its land
and buildings by 2030. It has three core elements:-
· Holding a climate focused service
· Committing as a church community to reduce our own greenhouse gas emissions; and
· Speaking up for bolder action by the UK government on climate change
We held our Climate Sunday service on Sunday 13th June 2021.
As part of speaking up for bolder action, we are encouraged, as a church and as individuals, to sign up to The Time is Now open letter to the Prime Minister produced by the Climate Coalition, a group of over 100 developmental and environmental organisations, including all the major Christian charities, the National Trust, the RSPB, the Women’s Institute and many others.
It asks the government to:-
· Unleash a clean energy revolution that boosts jobs across the UK, making our transport, power and housing fit for the future
· Protect, restore and expand our green and wild spaces; allowing nature to thrive, taking carbon from the air and boosting the nation’s health; and
· Leave no one behind by increasing support to those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change at home and abroad
St Philip's with St James' as a church has signed up to the open letter. You can sign up to the letter as an individual at thetimeisnow.uk/declaration
The great news is that the ways in which we can take practical action to protect God’s creation are increasing and changing all the time. We will share with you the information available as to the steps that we can all take to play our part.
Initially, we will do this in three ways:-
· A monthly slot in the parish newsletter, with up to date developments and tips for action:
· Through helpful links to videos, presentations and articles in this section of the website.
· A booklet with practical information, including links, as to steps we can all take to walk more lightly on the planet. The first one deals with what we can do as regards heating and powering our homes. The second covers how we can reduce our impact on the planet through the food on our plate. Each month, we will produce another. Once, complete, we will also produce it in hard copy.
At the moment, this initiative is being spearheaded, with Duncan’s support, by a small group, but we need additional church members’ passions, skills and ideas to build on the start we’ve made.
A Climate and Environment Group has been set up and we would love you to join. Whether your passion is the natural world, gardening, involving young people, reducing our carbon footprint, working with the local community, campaigning or otherwise encouraging the wider church, government and businesses to play their part in what’s needed, or something we haven’t thought of, we’d love to have you join the Group.
If you are interested, or would like to know more, contact Caroline Egan, Carol Linfield, Roger Williams or Laura Bates.