What can you do in an hour? Walk the dog, read the paper, take a long bath… or make a difference to our planet?
Over the last few months, I’ve been visiting communities across our Diocese that have started to do just that, dedicating an hour a week to making positive changes as a church, to care for creation.
Developed by the Diocese of Gloucester, in partnership with A Rocha, #EcoChurchInAnHour puts forward the simple idea that every church community pledges one hour a week, firstly to register for an Eco Church Award, and then to take some action to get you closer to your next award.
By 2030, the Church of England has committed to being carbon neutral. It’s a big goal and can seem overwhelming in its scale, but our efforts along with those of many others, to reduce the devastating effects of climate change on human life and ecosystems across the world, including here in England, is essential. For us, it is core to the five marks of mission and our undertaking to safeguard the integrity of creation.
Visiting Edgeworth, Roger the churchwarden told me he was pleasantly surprised that his church had already done enough to earn a bronze award when he first registered. He said, “The important thing with an historic building like ours that encouraged me was when I found that that insulation and double glazing don’t apply to listed buildings.”
Other communities are sharing the simple actions they have done which are making a huge difference. Mitcheldean Church is focusing on being a community recycling point, Clifford’s Mesne is looking at biodiversity, Daglingworth has started using local seasonal flowers instead of buying imported flowers and is changing cleaning supplies to be more eco-friendly. St James’ Dursley is taking part in No Mow May and inviting schools and local friends to help with bird boxes and biodiversity surveys. Simple things, making a big difference, and this is just the start of the action.
I’ve been greatly encouraged by the creativity and the enthusiasm which people are devoting to our planet..
As the Psalmist says, ‘The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it’, so taking time to prioritise the needs of the planet is one part of how we can be Christ’s hands and feet on earth, something with which we can all play our part