Thousands of churches up and down the country have registered with A Rocha’s Eco-Church programme, including several in Luton. The scheme gives churches a framework for thinking about how to care for the earth, and they can then apply for bronze, silver or gold awards.
Progress towards an award is tracked online through a live survey, making it easy to see where your church is up to, and the sorts of things you might want to try next. There are all sorts of downloadable resources to answer questions and share stories of what other churches have done, from installing heat pumps to planting wildflower meadows. You’ll find worship and teaching resources too, including Lent, climate Sunday, and Season of Creation ideas.
The survey covers five main areas of church life:
- Worship and teaching – does climate change and biodiversity come up in sermons, worship or prayer? What about children and young people?
- Management of church buildings – how is the church heated, and where does your energy come from? What could you do to reduce energy use, or switch to renewable energy? Don’t forget water and waste!
- Management of church land – not all churches manage any land. But if you do, are church grounds managed for the benefit of wildlife?
- Community and global engagement – encouraging churches to look outwards, this section looks at support for local and global charities, community initiatives and an active role in the wider greening of the town.
- Lifestyle – putting it into practice in our own lifestyles, through what we eat, how we travel, and how we support each other to live greener lives for the sake of God’s planet.
Luton has two silver certified eco-churches, one bronze, and seven on the way to their first award – you can see them all on the map here. Some denominations have made specific commitments around climate and the environment, such as the Church of England’s Eco-diocese programme, but it works just as well for independent churches taking action at the grassroots level.
We would love to see many more churches signed up and advancing through the awards stages – what about your church?
Register your church here, or get in touch if you’d like to talk it through with Christians in Luton who have done it before.