A Rocha UK’s Eco Church award scheme has been welcomed by former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams as part of a ‘tectonic shift’ in Christian culture.
Launching Eco Church at St Paul’s Cathedral on 26th January, Dr Williams said environmental concerns need to ‘embed more deeply’ into the Church’s mindset. ‘But progress has been made,’ he told his audience, ‘you here tonight are a part of that.’
CREED TO COFFEE
About 300 people packed out the cathedral crypt – which was illuminated green for the launch. Using iPads available at the reception, people saw Eco Church just after it went ‘live’ with advice on applying environmental issues across the spectrum of church life.
A free service, Eco Church consists of a state-of-the-art online survey and suite of resources enabling churches to become more environmentally-friendly – from creed to coffee, invocation to insulation and worship to wildlife.
Dr Williams presented the first Eco Church award to St Paul’s. Accepting the honour, Cathedral treasurer Rev Canon Philippa Boardman said of the wider church’s contribution to the environment, ‘Initiatives such as Eco Church are an opportunity for us to help lead the way – through action that’s relevant to the issues facing society in the 21st century’.
Recognising the work of other agencies, A Rocha UK Churches And Theology Director Dr Ruth Valerio added, ‘We want to be a part of seeing the culture of the Church changed – so it’s as commonplace for churches to be caring for God’s earth as it is for churches to be engaged in community action and social outreach’.
Managed by A Rocha UK, Eco Church is supported by the Church of England, Christian Aid, the Methodist Church and Tearfund. A Rocha UK is a Christian charity working for the protection and restoration of the natural world. Within two days of the launch, the website was busy with more than 1,500 sessions and nearly 40 registrations. (Pictured from left to right are – Canon Philippa Boardman, Dr Ruth Valerio and Dr Rowan Williams. Photo: Graham Lacdao, St Paul’s Cathedral)