• Challenge to BBC’s Springwatch host
    May 23, 2014

    A Rocha UK has challenged ‘Springwatch’ host Chris Packham for his public criticism of Christianity, which he claims ‘doesn’t help’ to change people’s attitudes about the planet.

    In an open letter to the controversial naturalist, Churches And Theology Director Dr Ruth Valerio said she is ‘saddened’ by his opinion that Christianity encourages people to exploit the earth’s resources.

    ‘I would like to suggest, in all humility and politeness, that you have misunderstood the Christian faith,’ said Ruth, appealing to him to examine the work of A Rocha UK and its allies.

    Chris Packham had caused a media stir with a ‘Radio Times’ interview about faith and the environment, among other issues. ‘Christianity doesn’t help: we’re made in God’s image so everything is there to be exploited by us,’ said the BBC wildlife presenter.

    In her personal blog – – Ruth has invited him to ... Read more...

  • Spring Harvesters care for creation
    May 7, 2014

    ruth valerio at spring harvest

    Thousands of Christians caught the vision of A Rocha UK when one of the charity’s leaders played a key role at this year’s Spring Harvest.

    Churches And Theology Director Dr Ruth Valerio not only delivered specialist seminars on ‘creation care’ – but also contributed to the main teaching programme at the highly popular Christian holiday event.

    Nearly 200 attended Ruth’s own seminars at the Butlins holiday resorts in Minehead and Skegness. She looked at the biblical case for caring for the wider creation and why it’s an integral part of being a Christian.

    However, an additional 400 each morning also heard Ruth speak about God as Creator. She was delivering those key messages as part of the event theme, which focused on foundational truths about the Father, the Son and the Spirit, set out in the Apostles’ Creed. Nearly 20,000 ... Read more...

  • Is it a bird or a plane? No, it’s a bat
    May 7, 2014

    st madoc 5With cartilage shaped like an ‘S’ supporting its wing membrane, it could be mistaken for a visitor from Krypton. But it’s been found happily living in Wales by A Rocha UK’s Gower-based partner St Madoc Centre.

    Local bat expert Rob Colley, found a single Natterer’s Bat (Myotis nattereri) at a roost inspection in their woodland cave. That makes it the sixth bat species to have been recorded at the centre since A Rocha UK’s first survey of 2009.

    It’s also a timely discovery as it comes around the launch of A Rocha UK’s brand new leaflet ‘How To Be A Bat-Friendly Church’. The publication encourages churches to think and do better about bats.

    ‘This is an excellent addition to our species list,’ said St Madoc’s Conservation Ranger Sarah Leedham. ‘Natterer’s is one of the rarer bat species which, although widespread in Europe, is generally a scarce ... Read more...

  • Families find kites are rubbish
    May 7, 2014

    may enews kite rubbish 2

    More than 70 parents and children discovered that kite-making is a load of rubbish when they took part in a recent two-day A Rocha UK event.

    They came from Ealing, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Brent and Harrow for the April family event ‘The great outdoors on your doorstep’ at Minet Country Park in West London. The idea was to reconnect with nature, and learn how to love local green space. That included making kites from household rubbish like old plastic bags and waste newspaper.

    ‘Many people were surprised to know all they needed were two 12-inch wooden or bamboo BBQ skewers, a plastic bag, scissors, thread for the flying line and clear tape,’ said A Rocha UK Community Worker Kailean Khongsai. ‘After making their own kites, people ran around the park helping one another to fly their creations, too,’ he said of the community ... Read more...

  • Sense of wonder under threat
    May 7, 2014

    dragonflies spread 3Spiritual as well as physical damage is being done by our disconnection from nature. That’s the main message of the latest edition of A Rocha UK’s magazine ‘Root & Branch’ – which lands on supporters’ doormats soon.

    In his column for the publication, Conservation Director Andy Lester explains how people have told him they miss ‘a sense of awe and wonder’ about the natural world. ‘There’s something deeply spiritual about our connection to nature,’ writes Andy, ‘and we’re losing that connection at a very rapid rate.’

    Editor Jean Morgan warns of ‘the relentless pursuit of “progress”‘. She points out, ‘That loss in the natural world causes the loss of something within ourselves as well.’ In her introduction, she unpacks the journal’s theme – and how it’s reflected in such articles as an interview with celebrated birder, author and journalist Dominic Couzens ... Read more...

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