This month I would like to begin by congratulating Bulphan Church on gaining the Eco Church Bronze Award.
Eco Church is an award scheme designed to motivate and resource churches in England and Wales to care for God’s earth as part of their everyday work and witness.
Churches complete a survey which is divided up into the following categories:
- Worship and teaching
- Management of church buildings
- Management of church land
- Community and global engagement
Hopefully, you will have been reading the Eco Church articles that Lynda Robertson has been posting monthly in the Hobnob to help us all to think about green issues. Lynda is going to write a more detailed explanation of the Eco Church criteria, and how the process of awarding churches works, next month.
This Lent some of us have been doing a course called ‘For such a time as this’ about environmental issues and we have been looking at the impact of climate change through the lenses of Christians from different parts of the world, including Asia, the Philippines, the West Indies, Mozambique, South India and Japan. We have had some really interesting discussions and, as part of the course, members of the group have set up their own Lent boxes. Each week we have been given challenges to raise money to put in our Lent boxes. For example, one week we were encouraged to reduce energy consumption in our homes and for every action we took, such as turning the thermostat down 2 degrees, we were asked to put £1 in the Lent box. On another occasion, every time we used a plastic bottle, pot or bag, we fined ourselves 20 pence to put in the pot. All money raised will go to the Green Schools Programme and the wider work of the Church of South India, through USPG, an Anglican Mission Agency that partners churches and communities worldwide in God’s mission to enliven faith, strengthen relationships, unlock potential and champion justice.
As part of the course we have also shared ideas. Some people have been to carbonfootprint.com to assess their own carbon footprint. One group member shared that the average carbon footprint in the UK is 6.50 tonnes of CO2 emissions per person, the average worldwide is 5 tonnes and the worldwide target is 2 tonnes! Most of us are not there yet but it is something to aim for.
It would be interesting to hear what other things you have been doing for Lent….
And, of course, as we come out of the wilderness of Lent, at the beginning of April, we pray that we will also begin to come out of the wilderness of the lockdown that we have all been experiencing for the past year.
Please know that you are all very much in my prayers.
Take care and God bless,