Mission imperative or jumping on the bandwagon?

15 August 2019

There are many different approaches to the way we treat the environment, but All Saints' Church, Chedgrave has investigated how churches are called to do the most for the planet.

Two years ago, Chedgrave PCC had an awayday. We thought about growth, vision, commitment and discipleship. We were challenged by Proverbs 29:18: Where there is no vision the people perish, and a quote from a Scottish primary school: We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children and our children’s children. In exploring these at subsequent PCC meetings it became apparent that our vision included environmental issues and we wondered what God was asking of us, both as individuals and as church.

We tackled easy things first: our churchyard now has woodpiles, hedgehog houses, and bird boxes. We have planted wildflowers on our untended graves and saplings to fill gaps in our boundary hedging.

This year’s holiday club, Eco-Warriors, looked at God’s creation and how we are spoiling it. We encouraged local children to think about the five Rs: Reduce, Recycle, Repair, Reuse and Replace. For example: if Jonah was thrown into the sea today, what would he find? The answer, loads of our plastic waste, helped us to think about recycling.

An eco-café in Xpressions Café the following weekend helped us to engage with the wider church and community. Over 70 people came. We had a variety of exhibitions and prayer prompts; give-and-take clothing-exchange; human-resource-library; discussion and debate. This was followed by delicious vegan and vegetarian food to taste, which spilled into an impromptu fun lunch. With increasing anxiety about environmental issues, we seemed to strike a chord with the current mood as one member of our community commented: “Everyone needs to be on this particular bandwagon.”

Revd Alison

Chet Valley Churches



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