The 600th congregation to join the Eco Church family is Christ Church Abingdon (pictured) – which boasts a historic association with A Rocha UK. They support Peter and Miranda Harris, who set up the first A Rocha centre in Portugal in 1983.
‘Our registration has grown out of the longstanding links we have with A Rocha,’ said Eco Church Rep Dalibor Warburton. ‘Peter and Miranda are mission partners of Christ Church.
‘Christ Church was the home church of Peter’s parents. There are a number of other links between A Rocha and people in our congregation – both in the UK and in other countries. These relationships have made us think about God’s will for us as stewards of his amazing world.’
The registration has also been triggered by the church’s expansion in recent years, with a focus on continuing to open up relationships with people in the local community. This has involved starting new ministries – including a foodbank and cafe. ‘We want to be good ambassadors for Christ as we serve others,’ said Dalibor.
LOTS TO LEARN
Christ Church looks forward to their eco-journey. ‘We’re sure there’ll be lots to learn,’ Dalibor pointed out. ‘As with any challenge, it can be difficult to know where to start. We’re finding the survey questions very helpful in terms of breaking things down into manageable chunks. And it’s exciting that our church leadership are supportive of the initiative!’
Eco Church was launched at St Paul’s Cathedral in January 2016. Those who want to follow Christ Church’s example can register here now. ‘Together we can make a real difference for nature through local churches caring for God’s earth,’ said Eco Church Manager Nigel Hopper.