24 Feb 2018 • St Weonards news
God's Earth: Our Mission
An Eco Church conference
Lord, you set the mountains in place by your strength.
You calm the roar of the seas and the noise of the waves.
The whole world stands in awe of your deeds,
of the great things you have done.
Your deeds bring shouts of joy
from one end of the earth to another.
And every hillside declares your glory. [Psalm 65]
Drawing over 150 delegates from across England, this was a one-day conference organised by Christian conservation charity A Rocha UK to inspire Christians to re-commit themselves to care for God's world, with lots of practical ideas for their local communities. Keynote speakers included Rodney Green, former CEO of Leicester City Council, and Rich Bee, A Rocha UK's engagement director. St Weonards PCC member Stephen Herbert attended and commented:
"There is much that local church members can do as stewards and custodians of God's amazing world. The environmental challenges we face today may seem huge, but we owe it to our children and future generations to act now to care for God's creation. Together we really can make a positive difference!"
Alongside the main plenary sessions, there were several different workshops covering topics such as 'Eco Church', growing environmental awareness among children and youth, celebrating food, tackling waste, connecting with the outdoors through initiatives such as Forest Church, and a session sharpening our theology of environmental issues. Delegates shared encouraging examples of how they were making a difference in their local communities.
With people being urged to consider their environmental footprint by programmes such as the BBC's Blue Planet 2, there is much that we can do. And changing our behaviour (and that of our neighbours) is not 'mission impossible'! For example, the introduction of a 5p charge for plastic bags in many supermarkets has already led to a reduction of over 6 billion plastic bags in England in one year, a decline of 88%, as well as raising over £50m for charities.
Here in St Weonards, we think the local church has a part to play. One practical route for action is for us to work towards an Eco Church award. If you know any families or young people who would be interested in helping us do that, or would like to be involved in other environmental stewardship initiatives, please contact Stephen Herbert.