How might you take part in Creationtide from1st September to 4th October?
During Creationtide Christians around the world are encouraged to pray for, and care for, God’s good creation. It is the period in the annual church calendar dedicated to God as Creator and Sustainer of all life. As part of our initiative to become an eco- church, we have tried to understand more fully what it means to say that God is creator of the world and the responsibilities this places on us.
These are important themes in Christian faith and it is important for us to discover what these say to the present crisis in caring for our environment. So this year Creationtide will be particularly important to us. This season of Creationtide has been embraced by the leaders of the Anglican, Catholic and Orthodox churches, as well as by several major ecumenical groups including the World Council of Churches.
How might you take part? The Church of England has developed a series of daily reflections for the season available at:
Please may I encourage you to use them – it would be good if those of us who have reflected on them might meet at the end of the season to discuss what we have learned. We shall also be marking the season on Sunday 29thSeptember when our services will have a Creation theme. At the 10 am service that day Maranda St. John Nicolle (Director Christian Concern for One World) will be our preacher.
Have you heard the great news! … we’re on our way to gaining a Bronze Eco Church Award in (hopefully) 2019!
At the start of Lent we launched our new initiative and mission to ‘Cherish God’s Earth’ by inviting you to join us in our Lent Plastic Challenge. Those of you who are readers of our ‘Do you know?’ regular Newsletter, will already know that we want to express our care for God’s world by being part of something called Eco Church.
What is Eco Church all about? Eco Church is A Rocha UK’s award scheme for churches who want to demonstrate that the gospel is good news for God’s earth. A Rocha UK is a Christian charity working for the protection and restoration of the natural world. There are three levels of Eco Church Award – Bronze, Silver and Gold.
How does Eco Church work? We complete a free online Eco Survey to record what we are already doing to care for God’s earth relating to: 1)worship and teaching2) church buildingsandland3) community and global engagement 4) Lifestyle. The survey then tells us how many points we have scored, and whether we qualify for an award.
Where are we up to? Well, the title of this article somewhat gives the game away! Our PCC Vision Groups, alongside the Standing Committee, have been busy completing our Eco Survey. We’ve scored really well in most areas, but the gauge hasn’t quite turned bronze for the ‘lifestyle’ area. We must meet a minimum of bronze in all areas to be able to apply for the award!
Note: St Mary and St Leonard, Wallingford Eco Church survey results May 2019
So, exciting news but what are the next steps? The PCC’s Outreach and Nurture Vision Group, who own the ‘lifestyle’ area of our Eco Church survey, have reflected on what more we can do to improve our lifestyle score. Over the coming months, you’ll be hearing more about some initiatives and ideas to help us to Cherish God’s Earth in the way we live out our daily lives.
How can I help? We’d really love it if you would engage and support the initiatives and ideas that you’ll be hearing about over the coming months. We’d also love to hear your ideas about what lifestyle changes or choices we can make to help us to continue Cherishing God’s Earth.
What to know more? Then have a chat to Emma Cross (01491 837815 or email@example.com or after church on Sunday morning in St Mary’s) or take a look at our Eco Church web page.
Our Safeguarding Officer is Jacqui Norbury. She is the first point-of-call for anyone within the church who has safeguarding concerns; she is also responsible for ensuring that our policy and procedures for safeguarding children and vulnerable adults are adhered to and that people who interface with children & vulnerable adults receive suitable training. Please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01491 835779