Churches could transform the environment of these islands, says A Rocha UK’s new chief Andy Atkins (pictured). In a special interview for Families First – the magazine of the Mothers’ Union – he calls Christians to rescue creation.
‘There’s an urgent need,’ he told the January/February edition of the publication, ‘given the reality of climate change and the speed at which we’re losing once abundant nature – including our “common or garden” birds.’
Andy gave the interview just before taking on his new role at the start of January 2016. He told the magazine about a childhood of dodging crazed crocodiles and toxic trees in the Australian wilderness – to his adulthood of addressing the biggest anti-poverty march in British history. He shared stories of living on a remote tropical island and moving to London’s East End.
After reading of his dramatic background, you’d think he’d already seen it, done it, worn the T-shirt. Yet still he feels he has this other vision to accomplish – to help every Christian follow the biblical mandate to protect and preserve God’s natural world. ‘If we mobilised the churches to care for creation,’ he said, ‘we could transform the environment of the UK for current and future generations.’
As newly appointed Chief Executive of A Rocha UK, Andy believes he’s in a good place to follow that through. He comes to A Rocha UK just as it launches its biggest project to date – Eco Church – to help congregations show that the gospel is ‘good news for God’s earth’.
Before joining A Rocha UK, Andy served with other world changers like Catholic relief agency CAFOD, evangelical aid organisation Tearfund, environmental activists Friends Of The Earth and the Make Poverty History campaign.
‘I feel privileged to have worked for them all,’ he told Families First. ‘I’ve learned much from each.’ The interview also touches on Andy’s family life, his appreciation of the Church of England, what gets him up in the morning – and more.
The four million-strong Mothers’ Union is an international Christian charity that aims to demonstrate the Christian faith in action through the transformation of communities worldwide. It works with people of all faiths and none in more than 80 countries to promote stable marriage, family life and the protection of children through praying, enabling and campaigning. Download a PDF of the full interview with Andy Atkins here.