Update on St. Michael and All Angels as an Eco Church 2020/21
The Eco Church group came together back in 2016 to help us as a church focus on important "green issues" relating to worship, the church building, biodiversity and land use and community; both local and global. Eco church criteria were set up by a Christian environmental group called A Rocha. Back in the early 1980's they had a vision to combine their faith and conservation issues in order to actively demonstrate God's care for the planet. Their first project was in Portugal but today they have projects in many countries round the world.
Having the framework of the Eco Church enables churches to assess their green credentials and look for ways to improve them. Why is this important? God calls us to care for his world, to be good stewards in the broadest sense and to take responsibility where we can to ensure its beauty is sustained for future generations.
St Michael's in Hawkshead has achieved Silver status and is working towards gold. The sorts of things we have done to achieve this include:
- Supporting the management of the churchyard to ensure it has many wildlife habitats
- Reviewing the energy efficiency and carbon footprint of the church buildings
- Providing fair trade products for sale
- Including green issues in Sunday services though prayer and worship - the last one was on February 28th this year and was the fourth Green Service. This provided information about "Climate Change Sunday". These services are being held across the UK and congregations are encouraged to make a commitment to greater action to address climate change in their own place of worship and community and to use their voice to tell politicians we want a cleaner, greener, fairer future at the heart of plans agreed during COP26 (Conference of Parties). The COP 26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement (2015) and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. This is due to be held in Glasgow in November 2021.
- Reaching out to the community- there have been sustainability workshops and visiting speakers such as John Bell who came to talk on environmental issues. There is a planned litter pick up once lockdowns have ceased where we will support the local Brownies going around the village to remove the litter!
- Two Eco themed flower festivals
- Organising for wildlife information boards to be placed in the church yard
- Writing to our MP about the Environment Bill
- Providing Eco tips and information to the congregation
If you are interested in knowing more about Eco church go to: https://arocha.org.uk
The Eco Committee at Hawkshead Church are: John Dixon, Jean Crosbie, Mike and Sue Maxwell, Judith Marshall, Andrew Duncan and Joyce Hallam