What is Eco Church?
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, both as a response to the biblical mandate to care for the earth, and as a demonstration of the Christian hope for God’s world.
As part of a worldwide family of organisations committed to conservation action as an expression of Christian mission, they work collaboratively with others who share passion for the planet and its people, and a desire for their mutual flourishing
The Eco Church initiative is run in partnership with the Church of England, the Methodist Church, Tearfund and Christian Aid. Its aim is to help churches show they care for the environment in their worship and teaching, their management of buildings and land, community and global engagement and individual lifestyles.
‘Our vision is for churches of all denominations to care for creation as an integral part of loving their neighbours and following God faithfully.’ http://ecochurch.arocha.org.uk/
As part of the Eco Church initiative, churches complete an online survey about how they are caring for God’s earth in these different areas of their life and work, collecting points toward Eco Church awards at Bronze, Silver and Gold.
Are we an Eco Church?
Over the last few months we’ve collected information, made some commitments and introduced some environmentally friendly items/ideas. As a result, we’ve gained a Bronze Award – so well done us!
Now it’s time to move on and further reduce our impact on the environment. As Christians we’re called to care for creation and by being part of the Eco Church programme we’re showing that we’re serious about this.
To achieve the next level, Silver, some of the tasks we need to undertake include setting targets to reduce our carbon footprint, use renewable resources for our energy, move to LED lamps, be more consistent in our use of Fairtrade products and recyclable disposables, engage with local organisations and encourage ethical investment of personal savings. These are a selection of the many activities with which we can engage to improve our ethical/environmental status.
On a practical level we can all to use less energy. Here are some energy saving ideas (more to follow in future months) –
- Cook with lids on saucepans. This will keep more heat in the pan, make things cook quicker and cause less condensation
- When boiling food only put enough water in to cover the food with water. Any extra water needs to be heated and this is wasted heat and money.
- Cut vegetables into small pieces to cook them. They will cook quicker.
- Use the hot water drained off one pan of vegetables to cook another pan of vegetables and then use the water to make your gravy or sauce.
- Only put enough water in the kettle for what you are going to use. Any extra water needs to be heated and this is wasted heat and money.
- When cooking, try using the microwave instead of the oven, especially for small meals.