Many faiths share a commitment to stewardship and, both globally and locally, churches have always played a key role in sustainable development.
Plymouth Churches’ Green Action Group, a branch of the Devon Churches’ Green Action Group, was formally launched at a meeting at the St Budeaux Church Community Hall on 1st April 2017.
This short case study explains some of the commitments made by the group and their aims for Plymouth’s ‘green’ churches.
To Contact Transition Plymouth
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Website : http://www.dcga.org.uk/
IN DETAIL :
Our Vision :
Both Plymouth and Devon Churches’ Green Action groups share a vision for churches of all denominations in and around Plymouth focused on care for creation in five key areas of church life as an integral part of loving their neighbours and following God faithfully. These embrace a range of opportunities for local sustainability. They are :
Worship and Teaching,
Community and Global Engagement,
The groups share the common aim to ‘resource and encourage churches, and individuals, to engage with making caring for God’s creation (‘Our Common Home’) a normal part of church life and personal Christian discipleship’; a commitment that is supported by a series of achievable outcomes. These include…..
• Shared information to ensure churches are fully resourced
• Established forum to address local issues such as low carbon, open spaces, marine environment, built environment, food and waste, protecting heritage
• Churches actively involved with Eco Church and Living Churchyards schemes
• Churches celebrating God’s Creation in teaching and worship
How Sustainable are local churches ?
There are many options for actions and help is at hand. For example, since April 2017, PCGA has been promoting opportunities for local churches to ‘green’ their activities and has included the Rocha UK’s Eco Church award scheme in its Newsletter.
A Rocha’s vision is for churches of all denominations to care for creation as an integral part of loving their neighbours and following God faithfully. PCGA is encouraging the transformation of vision in to reality in Plymouth by encouraging churches to make a formal commitment to improving their environmental credentials by endorsing and working towards an Eco Church Award: See https://ecochurch.arocha.org.uk/ for more detail.
The churchyards that surround our churches are full of almost untouched wildlife and the opportunity for growing and sourcing food. The church also recognises the value of wildlife given that, in the UK, we have lost 25% of our butterflies in just 40 years and iconic pollinators, such as bees, are struggling to survive. Churches also provide essential safety for nesting birds including the Peregrine Falcon. Managing these resources sustainably can have benefits for the whole neighbourhood.
Through PCGA local churches have been encouraged to plant wildflower seeds with the help and advice of locally- run Buglife (see https://www.buglife.org.uk/activities-for-you/wildlife-gardening#sthash.is6sdiRZ.dpuf ) and the Devon Living Churchyards project is providing a valuable link to our wildlife across the county.
Food, Glorious Food
The Biblical landscape is peppered with stories about food and sharing. Every year we experience the cycles of the natural world as spring gives way to summer and summer lengthens into autumn and it is likely that we associate certain meals with different times of year. PCGA provides the background to the celebration of food through the many Christian festivals that are still recognised…..if a little forgotten. For example it is possible to celebrate Plough Sunday with a ploughman’s lunch in February or Candlemass and Lent with pancakes and oatcakes and to promote the benefits of sustainable sources, Fairtrade choice and locally appropriate foods. For example, Rogation Sunday in May is a time for reminding all of us of where our food comes from, to give thanks for the fact that we have enough to eat, and also to remember those who rely on the land for their livelihood. Have a look at the Food Plymouth web site: http://www.foodplymouth.org/