This is a fantastic achievement for Christ Church. In March 2022, A Rocha UK confirmed our Silver Eco Church Award – the scheme run for churches in England and Wales who want to demonstrate their response to the biblical mandate to care for the earth, and the Christian hope for God’s world. Look out for the plaque in church which will soon be in place.
The Eco Church Group aims to strengthen our care for God’s earth and all his creation as a core part of our faith at Christ Church. We completed an online survey that enables us to both record what we’re doing to care for God’s earth, and to reflect on what further steps we can take. The survey includes five key areas of church life:
At Christ Church, here are some things that have become part of our annual church calendar to show our care for the environment, for God’s Earth and all His Creation.
Annual Creationtide display in church of pictures, objects and artefacts donated by the congregation
Creationtide and Harvest Services with environmental themes
Church and environment teaching and activities for Junior Church, Stepping Up & KFH youth group
Annual communal Christmas card designed by children & young people at church
RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch – surveying birds in our gardens each January
WWF Earth Hour in March
Churches Count on Nature survey of wildlife in churchyards and gardens in June
Highlights of 2021
Undoubtedly, the highlight in 2021 was our speaker event in the lead up to COP26 – Changing Our Planet: Christian and Local Action. On the 9th October, over 50 people joined us from the local community and other churches. We enjoyed excellent presentations from Tearfund, Sustainable Merton and Young Christian Climate Network.
In November 2021, the PCC approved a Carbon Net Zero Plan for Christ Church, so we will play our part in the Church of England’s target for all parts of the church to work to become carbon ‘net zero’ by 2030. This means that we will calculate our carbon footprint each year and minimise our emissions from all sources and offset the remainder in sustainable ways. We’ve undertaken many energy-saving projects in the last few years in the church and hall and we’ve switched to 100% renewable electricity.
We have joined the Wimbledon Green Churches group and are engaging in joint ventures and sharing ideas.
And here are some of the things we’ve achieved in the last 3 years to strengthen our care for the environment.
Partnered in prayer with A Rocha Kenya – a Christian conservation charity
Insulated & secondary glazed the hall & parish office & switched to low-energy lighting
Twinned all the toilets in our refurbished church hall through Tearfund’s Toilet Twinning Campaign
Reduced waste such as single-use plastic and increasing recycling
Encouraged church members and the public to enjoy our gardens for recreation and prayer with refurbished seating and new planting
Made our gardens more bird-friendly with bird feeders and nesting boxes
Encourage insects in our gardens with wild flower beds and insect hotels
Focused on the role of Christians in the care of God’s Creation in our parish magazine.
Held Lent Groups on creation & care for the environment
Produced planners for Lenten Fasts for Creation for members of the congregation to follow
Care for Creation is now woven into so many of our church activities from cleaning to youth work, and from finance to social events. And our main achievement? All these activities to demonstrate our care for God’s Earth and all Creation are no longer just for Eco Church – but simply church.
Commitment to Prayer for God’s Earth
Eco Church encourages us to pray for environmental issues and to commit to pray for a specific overseas environmental project. For two and a half years we have been praying for the staff and projects of A Rocha Kenya - a Christian conservation charity. We were thrilled to show a short film about their work at the Changing Our Planet: Christian & Local Action speaker event in 2021. We've had photos of their work in our Creationtide display too