We believe that caring for God’s earth is a necessary and important part of being a Christian. We believe that responding to environmental concerns should be part of how we do church.
A Rocha UK is a Christian charity working for the protection and restoration of the natural world.
Eco Church is A Rocha UK’s award scheme for churches in England and Wales who want to demonstrate that the gospel is good news for God’s earth.
Our church is a member of the Eco Church scheme which is based around a survey covering all areas of church life: Worship and Teaching; Management of Church Buildings and Land; Community and Global Engagement; and Lifestyle. The survey challenges churches to act in all these areas.
So far SGBC has been awarded the Bronze and Silver awards and we are over halfway towards Gold.
We have been challenged in many areas. The church building has to have energy efficient lighting, gas and heating. Our ceilings and walls should be insulated. The cleaning products we use should be eco-friendly. We should use fair-trade goods as much as possible and cook with local produce. We shouldn’t use disposable cups etc and we should be keen on recycling. The Manse where our Minister lives should also adhere to these standards. We haven’t achieved all these goals yet. Some will be expensive like double glazing throughout, earth toilets, solar or ground heat sources.
However, we have made good progress in many areas including:
- Our young families group meet in the woods and talk about our world.
- The members of the church who are allotment holders have been teaching children from Seer Green Pre-School about growing vegetables.
- WellFound is a charity founded by Church Members which provides water to villages in Africa and as part of their work they teach the women to grow vegetables.
- Our BMS (Baptist Missionary Society) missionary works in Peru as an environmentalist and she regularly tells us about how she is working to help the locals protect their environment.
- Our church also has a close association with the Seer Green Gardeners club, who run their Spring Show and plant sales in the church building.
- the local Beekeepers club meets in our church building.
- The After School Club have got involved and helped with planting around the premises and take an interest in the pond and the life cycle of amphibious animals therein.
- The area around the church has flower beds which have increased over the year. We have the beginnings of a rockery.
- A bird house has been made and we are planning more.
- A (second hand) pond was installed. Frog spawn was put in there in the spring and I saw a large frog in one of the borders.
- I bought a second hand water butt which sadly took a long time to fill as we had no rain. I plan to get another one.
- We have two bird feeding stations and a bird bath. Plants that have been planted are insect friendly.
If you have any other ideas which could improve things and help us become more eco friendly, please come and talk to us.