‘In 2019 the churches of St. Benedict’s and The Venerable Bede registered with Eco Church. It is an award scheme with bronze, silver and gold levels for churches in England and Wales to demonstrate that the Gospel is good news for God’s earth. Covid 19 put us back for more than a year but on 11 May we managed to start digging at St. Benedict’s churchyard to prepare a bed for planting wildflower seeds to attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies. This is part of making the churchyard more attractive to wildlife in general. Putting up bird and bat boxes: insect hotels: bird feeders etc will follow!’
TAKEN FROM A ROCHA’S WEBSITE
A Rocha is an international network of environmental organisations with a Christian ethos. A Rocha, which means “the rock” in Portuguese, was founded in Portugal in 1983. With the Motto ‘Conservation and Hope’, it is an environmental NGO network, focussing on community-based projects. “A Rocha UK is a Christian charity working for the protection and restoration of the natural world.
This is our response to the biblical mandate to care for the earth, and a demonstration of the Christian hope for God’s world. We do this through:
– practical involvement in nature conservation projects and ecological research;
– campaigning on biodiversity issues;
– engaging with churches, schools, communities and individuals.
Being part of the worldwide family of A Rocha organisations committed to conservation action as an expression of Christian mission, we work collaboratively with others who share our passion for the planet and our desire for its flourishing.
A Rocha’s modus operandi is based on five guiding principles:
Christian -Underlying all we do is our biblical faith in the living God, who made the world, loves it and entrusts it to the care of human society
Since we believe that caring for God’s earth is a necessary part of Christian discipleship, engaging with Christians and churches is at the heart of our strategy. A Rocha UK’s primary means of such engagement is Eco Church.
Eco Church’s vision is to create a vast network of churches across England and Wales as local centres of creation care in the community – shining beacons of hope for a brighter environmental future.
Eco Church was launched at an event at St Paul’s Cathedral on 26 Jan 2016 by A Rocha UK, Christian Aid and Tearfund. Dr Rowan Williams gave the keynote address.
The Eco Church awards scheme is based around an online survey which enables churches to record how they are currently caring for the environment and to reflect on what further steps they can take. The scheme encourages churches to care for creation across every aspect of Church life: the survey covers
- worship and teaching,
- Community and Global engagement,
The Churches of St Benedict Biscop and the Venerable Bede, Wombourne.
Both Churches are now registered with Lichfield Diocese and A Rocha UK. A Team from St Benedict’s completed and submitted their survey in September and met again on 20th November to review our Survey scores and discuss our next steps. On 25th November, we reported our progress to our PCC, asked if we could give an ‘Eco Church update’ at every PCC and began formulating simple steps to be taken for PCC’s approval next month.