Practise What You Preach

by Gerry Lynch last modified 13 Sep, 2016 09:35 AM

Series of meetings aims to help churches put environmental principles into practice

A national project which helps churches integrate environmental principles into their worship, teaching, and practice, will have its local launch later this year.

Eco Church in the Diocese of Salisbury will be launched on November 16, at the first of a series of ecumenical meetings entitled Tools for Transformation which are taking place across this diocese and in next-door Winchester.

The Diocesan Environmental Group (DEG) has teamed up with Christian Aid, Tearfund and A Rocha UK to provide these opportunities to explore the Eco Church scheme. The meetings will provide a chance to hear about current projects in local churches and share experiences, and also to learn about the Big Church Switch project to promote greener energy

Eco Church is a nationally developed web-based survey and award scheme which looks at a Church’s green ‘credentials’ in five areas:

  • worship and teaching
  • buildings
  • land
  • community engagement
  • lifestyle

Eco-church reaches into all areas of church life and helps churches ensure their Christian teaching is relevant to society, and particularly the younger generation. The simple online survey can be completed at www.ecochurch.arocha.org.uk, and allows people to see if their church currently matches the criteria for a bronze, silver and gold award, and enables it to establish what it would need to do to reach a higher level.

The Big Church Switch is a national programme initiated by Tearfund and Christian Aid to encourage churches and individuals to switch to using renewable energy. This can be done at www.bigchurchswitch.org.uk and can be an early step for a church seeking to fulfil the 5th Anglican Mark of Mission “To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth”. More than 3,500 churches of all denominations have already switched in just seven months.

David Morgan, Chair of the Diocesan Environment Group, said, “The meetings are part of a growing, worldwide, movement of Christians of all denominations to recognise the care of God’s gift of creation as a prime Christian duty mandated by Scripture and the tradition of the Church. It is particularly appropriate that we are announcing this programme during the season of Creationtide, which began on 1 September and runs until 4 October, was given strong support by the Pope, the Ecumenical Patriarch and Bishop Nicholas.

“We are excited by these opportunities, and hope to see many churches in the diocese engaging with Eco Church and the Big Church Switch in the coming year. I think we are at a tipping point where care for the environment is becoming accepted as a part of ‘normal Christian discipleship’.”.

The dates and locations are of the meetings are:

  • 16 November 2016, Salisbury: St Paul’s Church SP2 7QW
  • 24 November 2016, Poole: St Mary’s Church Longfleet BH15 2LP
  • 30 November 2016, Dorchester: Dorford Centre DT1 1RR
  • 23 Feb 2017, Devizes: St James’ Church SN10 3AA

All events start at 7.30 p.m.

More information is available from Miriam Longfoot on 01722 411922 or miriam.longfoot@salisbury.anglican.org. All are welcome to these free events, but it helps if people let Miriam know that they are coming.

A series of posters promoting the events can be downloaded here (all in PDF format):

File PDF document Diocese-wide poster
File PDF document Devizes poster
File PDF document Dorchester poster
File PDF document Poole poster
File PDF document Salisbury poster

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