Eco Church at HTCD, by Carolyn Scriven
‘The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, The world, and all who live in it.’ Psalm 24:1
On 10th October more than 50 people gathered at Holy Trinity for an evening of information-sharing, discussion and reflection on how we might do more to respond as a church and as individuals to the climate emergency, in obedience to God’s mandate to care for creation.
"Reducing the causes of climate change is essential to the life of faith. It is a way to love our neighbour and to steward the gift of creation."
Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
The evening was benefice-wide, with representatives of all four churches (St Andrew’s Foxhill, St James Southstoke and St Michael’s Monkton Combe). The aim was for a varied and lively occasion, where people could voice their concerns, passions, scepticism and ideas for change.
Holy Trinity has registered for Eco Church and is using the checklist A Rocha provides for assessing our church’s ‘carbon footprint’. This was the basis for several tables displaying a variety of information on lifestyle, plastics, community and global engagement, and the use of land and buildings. In addition to group discussion at the different stations, we had brief contributions from the front from our vicar, Shawn Swinney, who brought a biblical perspective; two of those who have spearheaded this initiative; a member of the congregation who offered a challenge about what infects our local water; and Ian Souter from Cafe BANES who brought an encouraging overview about what is happening at other churches in the area.
As one member of the congregation wrote afterwards: ‘Everybody was engaged; I sensed that we were all well motivated without being strident or extreme. You have started a dialogue! May we at HTCD give it the right emphasis, God's perspective, within our whole mission strategy.’
Now we want to see the momentum building, in and by God’s grace, so we really do make a difference, bringing the hope of Christ to barren places.
We can each do something, and together we can do more.
Carolyn Scriven, Holy Trinity, Combe Down
15th October 2019