The great news is that in September 2020 we were awarded a Silver Eco Church Award.
A prayer for our Eco commitment:
Our Story So Far
Our autumn 2018 series of talks titled ‘Cherishing God’s Earth’ helped us to understand what our faith has to say about our care of God’s creation. These talks inspired us to think about what we can do to care for creation and our PCC has made a commitment to make Cherishing God’s Earth part of our mission.
We launched the initiative by inviting our church and community to join us in our Lent Plastic Challenge. We wanted to help people to reflect on their use of single-use plastic and think about how we can all take action by refusing, reducing, reusing and recycling plastic (the 4Rs). Click here if you wish to find out more about the Lent Plastic Challenge and the amazing things achieved in the 40 day period and the life changing pledges made .
Part of our Cherishing’s God’s Earth mission is to become an Eco Church is an award scheme run by A Rocha UK, a Christian charity working for the protection and restoration of the natural world. Find out more here. The award is split across several areas:
1) worship and teaching,
2) church buildings and land,
3) community and global engagement and
We are delighted with our Silver Award and are grateful to those who gave their time, talents and money to make this important aspect of our church’s fruition come together. Onwards to our Gold award!
We hosted and helped to organise a community based Sustainable Living
Fair in St Mary’s earlier in 2020. The fair was designed to share practical information and ideas for helping to live a more sustainable lifestyle to reduce our contribution to global warming. We had around 20 stalls in the church ranging from local bee keepers to South Oxford District Council recycling team. It was a great event and it was good to work with environmentalists outside our Church to achieve this.
Our work with children and families – Through science, the environment has centred as the theme of our worship at our monthly Family Services over the last few months. More recently our Children and Families Worker has lead an assembly and workshop at a local primary school to explore the theme of water and the environment, alongside its spiritual meaning.
Developing our Environmental Policy – We will be writing our environmental policy to outline and communicate our vision to be stewards of creation, and our responsibility to take care of the earth through our Cherishing God’s Earth mission.
Celebrating Creationtide – We look forward to marking Creationtide (1st September to 4th October) again next year using our ‘Season of Creation’ liturgy. We’ve enjoyed the last two celebrations as it has given us ‘special’ focused time to reflect on God as creator and sustainer of life.
Climate Sunday – A Rocha UK and other organisations are encouraging churches across the UK to hold a Climate Sunday, anytime from now until COP26 in Glasgow next year (1-12 November 2021). This is part of our national initiative which aims to for churches to engage spiritually and practically with climate issues. Watch this space!
Go for Eco Church Gold! We look forward to continuing our Eco Church work and focusing on how we can use our buildings and land to care for God’s creation even more. We hope this will help us go for gold.