Creation matters because it is God's creation. So how do we care for creation?
Eco Church is one way of demonstrating that we care for God's earth. It's an award scheme, developed by A Rocha, to help churches to 'go green' in all areas of church life - see www.ecochurch.arocha.org.uk
All the work we do under the Eco Church banner will count towards an Eco Church award. There are three levels of award: Bronze, Silver and Gold. In 2017 the PCC agreed that St Thomas should start on the Eco Church journey, and we are now working towards our bronze award.
To gain an award we have to complete an online survey which looks at five key areas of church life:
Worship and Teaching
Management of Church Buildings
Management of Church Land
Community and Global Engagement
St Thomas is already up to Bronze level in four out of these areas: worship, buildings, community engagement and lifestyle. We are working on 'Land' through a project to manage the churchyard for wildlife. Watch this U-tube clip to see examples of other churches on the Eco Church journey: www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXLZ81RyV5E
In September 2017 our services focused on Caring for Creation. You can find out much more about eco issues on the EcoChurch Southwest website: www.ecochurchsouthwest.org.uk
Plastic has been much in the news recently, and there is plenty around to help us act. Now you can fill your water bottle for free using the Refill scheme - see https://www.refill.org.uk/refill-scheme/refill-new-forest/ including outside St Thomas! And you can get involved in reducing the amount of microplastics in the sea using A Rocha's Microplastics Tool Box: http://www.arocha.org/en/work/scientific-research/marine-coastal/micropl...