Be the change
In a crisis, everyone needs to pull together – climate change is no exception. As Christians, we have responsibilities as we live alongside all God’s creation. This is something that affects both people and the planet, the world’s poorest and all that God has made. We all need to act.
The crisis we are in can feel overwhelming. We might be wondering where we start, how we can help, what difference we can make? We all can make a difference, and it’s often taking the small steps that add up to create the big change.
So that is why we are asking you to be part of our #EcoChurchInAnHour.
This campaign, developed in the Diocese of Gloucester in partnership with A Rocha, breaks down Eco Church into small, manageable steps.
The survey will help you think through steps you can take to become an Eco Church, from simple things like using hymns and songs that celebrate God’s creation to creating a wildlife area in the churchyard. You never know, you might qualify for an award already, becoming an Eco Church in an hour.
We are calling on all worshipping communities to be the change and take part in our #EcoChurchInAnHour campaign. We’ll be sharing simple, achievable steps that other people have taken to help them get an award.
Roger from Edgeworth found on registration for Eco Church that his church had already achieved a bronze award. “It’s not as complicated as I thought it was going to be.”
Through this simple online system, churches can sign up to work towards a Bronze, Silver or Gold award. It takes no more than an hour to do. You never know, you might qualify for an award already, becoming an Eco Church in an hour. An award is granted when a church meets certain requirements for demonstrating care for the environment, parish and community. To gain an award, a church will need to be considering environmental matters under the following headings:
- worship and teaching
- community and global
Once registered, do check out the resources section of the website.
We also have a Facebook group for anyone who is interested in Eco Church in the Diocese of Gloucester. If you are the Eco Church Lead at your church please let us know by completing this short form. Also, please do join our online community.
It is important that care for the environment is included in our worship and teaching so that Christians are supported to grow in understanding of this as a deeply biblical concern.
Many churches have a focus on the environment during Creationtide which runs from the Orthodox New Year on 1 September until St Francis Day on Thursday 4 October. This includes Harvest festivals but can also be a full month of environment-themed worship or special events that include the wider community.
Worship outdoors – is growing in popularity, whether using the term Forest Church or other similar (Muddy Church, Outdoor Church, Wild Church…) resources for churches wanting to explore outdoor worship.
Churches are often responsible for churchyards (and sometimes other land) and choices can be made to manage it to encourage wildlife and biodiversity, balancing this with existing uses of the space.
If you’re working with the wider community on wildlife-friendly management of community green spaces, this can also be part of work for the Community and Global heading of Eco Church.
Check out whether there are any churchyard regulations relating to changes you are planning: churchyard regulations
Caring for God’s Acre is a dedicated charity focussed on managing churchyards for wildlife: www.caringforgodsacre.org.uk
Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust has some great resources for wildlife gardening, many of which are applicable to churchyards as much as gardens: www.gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk
For those churchyards with ancient trees to manage www.ancienttreeforum.co.uk
Our diocese has small grants of £250 available to churches for wildlife-friendly management of churchyards and wildlife gardens: www.gloucester.anglican.org/grant-aid-for-wildlife-gardens
Diocese of Gloucester DAC & buildings team
Our buildings team is committed to supporting churches to make sustainable choices for their buildings. Keeping church buildings in good repair reduces energy consumption. The 2020 Environmental Policy is available on the DAC web page.
Arthur Rank Centre: sustainability resources
National CofE: Energy Efficiency Guide
Faith in Maintenance calendar
Webinars on carbon net-zero – these are offered by the National CofE as a result of the General Synod aim to achieve carbon net-zero by 2030. The energy footprint tool (EFT) is important for keeping track of progress towards carbon net-zero. Green Energy deals – these are available to churches seeking good options with a green energy provider.
Our responsibility as Christians is wider than our local buildings and land. It’s also about how we live with the wider community, nationally and globally.
Eco Church resources include engaging with local sustainability groups and writing to an MP.
Christian Climate Action is involved in political campaigning
Gloucestershire Churches Environmental Justice Network often shares helpful material.
Eco Church encourages us to challenge each other on sustainable choices in daily life as well as what we do together as the Church.
Eco Church has a variety of resources covering concerns such as travel, food, energy and waste.
Household quotes is a list of ideas for reducing personal carbon footprint.
The Green Christian website has a variety of resources concerning personal lifestyle commitments.
Wild Christian is a community of families and individuals exploring the connections between our Christian faith, the natural environment and how we live.