Manx Christians have welcomed Eco Church to their island – after A Rocha UK ran a series of meetings and interviews there.
Churches And Theology Director Dr Ruth Valerio spearheaded a packed programme of media interviews and speaking engagements to launch A Rocha UK’s Eco Church award scheme on the Isle of Man. Many churches were surprised to find they were already on the right path – with some naturally qualifying for an Eco Church award.
Dr Valerio visited the Isle of Man on the first weekend of the First Sunday of Advent. Christian Aid IoM helped her run the Eco Church launch programme, which included:
– a drop-in at the Green Centre;
– teaching ministers and lay readers of the diocese of Sodor and the Isle of Man;
– Sunday sermon at Broadway Baptist Church;
– World Development Group meeting;
– a series of radio, TV and newspaper interviews.
Four island churches signed up for Eco Church – including the Cathedral – with more committing to take the issue to their church councils. The island’s first Eco Church award has been scooped by The Abbey Church, Ballasalla.
‘It was a pleasure to have Ruth visit,’ said Christian Aid IoM Climate Campaigner Cat Turner. ‘There was great engagement from churches, once they understood it’s not all about obvious things like energy – it’s also about how we interact with the wider world, and incorporate care for the planet into our worship.’
Ruth sees great potential on the island. ‘There’s an opportunity to do something quite special here,’ she said, ‘for the Isle of Man to be a world leader in issues of environmental care.
‘I hope A Rocha UK’s visit and the Eco Church launch has encouraged churches to continue to set an example in the community. Churches can create a movement for change.’ (Photos: Peel Cathedral, by FinnWikiNo, and Dr Ruth Valerio on TV)