We have recently adopted, as one of our core missions at Chalfont St Giles, ‘A Rocha’; a charity committed to mobilising Christians to care for nature. Founded in Portugal in 1983 as a field study centre, A Rocha has pioneered the connection between faith and care for the earth.
A Rocha’s international work includes practical conservation projects, environmental education, developing environmental theology and working to educate, equip and inspire churches to care for God’s earth.
A Rocha UK's work comes from a fundamental belief. Looking after the world, in all the different forms that takes, is a core part of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. The gospel is good news for all the earth!
As part of our support for A Rocha and in part also in response to recent developments in our understanding of the way we have damaged the earth, we will be undertaking an ecological audit of all our church activities using a tool developed by ‘Eco Church’ which is one of A Rocha’s projects.
The survey covers five key areas of church life:
Worship and teaching
Management of church buildings
Management of church land
Community and global engagement
The aim is to celebrate the steps we have already taken and to work on further actions we can build into our church life. (The geraniums pictured are from our own church yard…)
Churches complete the online Eco Survey about how they are caring for God’s earth in different areas of their life and work. The answers a church provides will collect points towards an Eco Church Award – the more your church does, the more points you get!
We are aiming to gain a bronze award for starters!
To date we have conducted an energy audit of our church which will lead to actions to reduce our energy consumption. We have begun to suggest ideas or tips for reducing our personal impact on the environment and a creation themed service is planned for May 2020 though you will notice prayers for our damaged environment come up most weeks.
For the near future; the churchyard offers great potential for celebrating the flora and fauna on our doorstep (surveys of plant, insect and animal life) and managing them sympathetically to create a life-giving community space for our village.
We would like to build on our commitment to Fair Trade and to using less damaging cleaning materials around the church, make our events more environmentally friendly (starting with our design of craft for our children’s services)
Use recycled / recyclable wrapping paper
Google 'recycled christmas wrapping paper and you get LOTS of results. Or, our very own Fair Trade rep, Margaret, can get it for you!
Send an email card
and give the money to your favourite charity
Don't waste food
Vegetables freeze well - remember to label them!
Cake freezes well too - should you have any left!
Google 'make your own crackers' - there are a lot of suppliers. A great pre-lunch activity.
Or consider a table game - play a game of Consequences, or charades.
Make your own paper hats. (need to research this a bit!)