Continuing the journey
This spring, our PCC and congregation at All Saints, Chedgrave, were delighted to discover that they had achieved a bronze eco-award.
This is a stage in a continuing journey of our small rural church, which started about three-and-a-half years ago.
In response to a statement: “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children and our children’s children”, we asked ourselves two questions: “What is it that God is asking me to do today?” and “What is it that God is asking us, the Church, to do today?”
A variety of prayer prompts to do with the environment (covering churchyard, energy and atmospheric pollution, food production, our wonderful (local) world, world environment, plastic pollution and reducing plastic) led us to lament and acknowledge the problems, the scale of which we had not been really aware. It was difficult not just to throw up our hands with the enormity of the issue and despair.
Where there is no vision, the people perish. Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)
We encouraged ourselves to think about what we can do individually and collectively, rather than what we can’t.
Inspired by an Icelandic glacier, we took an imaginary journey 100 years into the future and wrote two different postcards to ourselves from a young person in 2119: One from the perspective of what we thought the world might be like; one from what we hoped it might be like. We wondered how we would ensure that the latter was more likely.
John 10.10 “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly”. We wondered what abundant life might look like for us as individuals, as a church and as people across the world and what each group might need in order to flourish. We asked ourselves: “How does my flourishing affect that of other people?”
Two quotes from Greta Thunberg helped to focus our minds: “You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes” (2018); “I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic… and act as if the house were on fire” (2019).
So what did we do in response?
We put the information out there: assemblies, sermons, village magazines, Facebook posts.
We put ourselves out there: worship outside using Sensio Divina, a New Year’s walk and reflection, Rogation Sunday prayer walks, Pet Service.
We worked on the churchyard: with youngsters from the community to make bird boxes, bee bank, hedgehog houses; with Chet Valley B-line and South Yare Conservation Trust to plant wildflower plugs. We planted free saplings from The Woodland Trust to fill gaps in our boundary hedge.
We led EcoWarriors, our holiday club, and an eco-café.
We looked at the energy footprint of our church.
We challenged ourselves and the community with eco-checklists.
We support charities with environmental interests.
All of these different actions let to us achieving the bronze Eco Church award from A Rocha. We are continuing our journey, but we’re using the eco-award to celebrate our achievement, rather than drive what we do. Our next thoughts are to look at solar panels for the roof.
This article is from...
Articles in this issue...
Two churches in the Diocese are set for a major cash boost as the recipients of the Norfolk Social Infrastructure Fund.More
Welcoming new residents
Housing developments are happening everywhere, Horsford is no exception. Just six miles north from the centre of Norwich, it is a place to which couples and young families are keen to move.More
VAT is a grey area… but let us add a little colour!
Parochial Church Councils come within the scope of registration for VAT. Whether they do so in practice depends on the extent to which they supply items which are taxable. In most cases, the taxable turnover will not be great enough to call for registration. Some expenditure that most of our PCCs have are listed below, some of which attract reduced or zero-rated VAT.More
Nurturing early growth
Where are the spaces in your community that enable faith conversation to flourish?More
The stable which became an Easter Garden
They are many of us saying this – but it is true: ‘We have tried new things because of the pandemic – and there are some things that we want to keep.’More
Faithful band of pilgrims at Easter
Great Yarmouth Minster is blessed with a set of Stations of the Cross paintings set in our townMore
Thinking about heating?
Before you go any further with a heating project, you should carefully review your current situation.More
Opportunities to enrich your regular routine
‘Becoming’ is a process; it takes time, and the process itself is the key benefit.More
Bronze award pursued
St Mary’s Church, Kelling, is a Grade II listed building set in a large churchyard in an area of outstanding natural beauty on the North Norfolk coast.More
Easier than you may think
Churches complete the unique online Eco Survey about how they are caring for God’s Earth in different areas of their life and work.More