The 16th century Spanish nun Teresa of Ávila wrote, ‘Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good, yours are the hands with which he blesses all the world.’ We, the Church, are the body of Christ. Through A Rocha UK’s Eco Church project, the natural world is being blessed in large and small ways around England and Wales.
Churches can take an online survey about actions relating to worship and teaching, management of church buildings, management of church land, community and global engagement and lifestyle. Each action they take gets them points – enough points gets them an award. But more importantly, each action is an expression of God’s love for the world.
St Paul’s Marylebone is adding taller plants to their outdoor space to increase biodiversity and have created a water area for birds and other wildlife. Christ Church in Higher Bebington has done years of work on their buildings, has planted an orchard and a wildflower meadow and made a woodland walk and pond areas on their land. Hathersage Methodist Church has changed all the light fittings on the premises to LED bulbs and created havens for wildlife on church land through birdboxes, bug-hotels and re-wilding. They host a regular Repair Café in the church hall and have launched a volunteer group to maintain the woodland garden next to the church. Glossop Parish Church has installed bird boxes, bug and hedgehog hotels, and abstain from hedge trimming when birds might be nesting. Lindley Methodist Church share eco-lifestyle tips in their weekly church notices and have made alterations to the heating and lighting in the church building to improve efficiency and are installing water harvesting systems.
Each church that takes part in Eco Church is participating in God’s blessing of this world he loves and demonstrating faith in action to their wider community.