Churches, like our own lives, cover all aspects of life and every corner can play its part in caring for God’s world. This ranges from the management of church buildings and land, our worship and teaching, to community engagement and our own lifestyles. The task can seem daunting, but your church will be joining many others from different denominations who want to make a difference and steward their resources well.
Here are 10 easy wins to get started on the journey of making your church more eco friendly and to celebrate God’s creation.
- Organise a presentation evening on Creation Care to involve the whole church family. Subjects can range from worship and teaching to the way we manage our church buildings and land, as well as our community engagement both locally and globally, and our own lifestyles.
- Do you serve refreshments after services and events? Encourage church members to bring their reusable cups or create some church branded ones that members can either buy or be given.
- Survey the church family to find out what they are doing already, what interests people and the level of commitment.
- Where does your church buy its electricity, gas or oil from? A very straightforward win is to switch to a renewable energy supply. Join other churches and get good rates on renewable energy through Church Buying.
- Whether urban or rural, your church building may own some surrounding land. UK churches can play an important part in encouraging native wildlife nationally. First think about habitats and food, grow native plants and wildflowers, and provide water, maybe by fitting water butts. Maintain natural boundaries like mixed hedges and put up bird and bat boxes. Some churches even have the privilege of hosting hedgehogs.
- Host or run an initiative or event to engage church members and the local community, such as ‘walk to Church Sunday’, create a ‘Carbon Fast’ during Lent or take part with schools with ‘Plastic Free July’.
- Prayer and worship: focus on creation as part of your church's worship and teaching programme – there are many resources for bible study, prayers, music and children or youth activities. For starters go to: Eco Church - A Rocha UK for lots of ideas and activities. Some churches have created a special Creation Care Sunday and have a themed service followed by a nature walk or some other church family activity.
- Lifestyle: Add a Green Tip in your weekly church newsletter.
- Twinning the bins or toilets in your church can be a fun way to raise global awareness and hygiene issues. Look at: Bin Twinning and Toilet Twinning.
- Register (for free) with Eco Church, an A Rocha UK project to equip churches to take practical action across all areas of church life. Speak to your church leadership and complete an initial survey to see how your church is doing currently – you might be surprised that you’re already able to apply for an Eco Church award! Working towards and achieving an Eco Church award is a wonderful way to celebrate all the practical actions your church is taking, and you'll be joining a growing community of churches committed to caring for creation. You can register here: Eco Church - An A Rocha UK Project