‘Heaven and the heaven of heavens belong to the LORD your God, the earth with all that is in it..’ – Deuteronomy 10:14
RBC Creation Care
“The Bible gives a clear mandate to Christian’s to steward God’s gift of creation with great care. It is therefore the calling of every follower of Jesus Christ to pursue this mandate.”
If you’d like to find out more about the Creation Care team, have suggestions for ways we can improve our environmental footprint or want to get involved in this area, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
As Redhill Baptist Church, we have made a commitment to adhere to the principles of Eco Church - by A Rocha. More than 3000 churches are now signed up to this scheme which covers all aspects of church life, providing opportunity to demonstrate that the Gospel is good news for God’s earth, putting environmental sustainability at the heart of a church’s thinking and action. In 2020 we carried out a baseline audit and achieved Bronze Award, reflecting amongst other things the environmentally sustainable aspects of our refurbished building and insect friendly garden border planting.
During our Climate Sunday Service in November 2021, we made our Climate & Environmental Emergency Declaration. Following this, we formed our Creation Care team to guide, encourage and equip us as community to care for God’s creation as an integral part of worshipping God, loving our neighbours and following Jesus Christ faithfully.
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Top 10 Next Steps for Eco Church
The Creation Care team has identified the Top 10 steps to move us towards achieving the Eco Church Silver Award, hopefully by 2024. These are drawn from the five themes of the Eco Church framework (worship & teaching; buildings; land; community & global engagement; lifestyle) (Click on the image to open)
We hold Creation Care themed services with guest speakers at least annually. In 2023 our focus is on the international plastic waste campaign This is a Rubbish Campaign run by Tear Fund.
We regularly include prayer with a focus on creation care, climate justice and environmental issues, including without our Sunday services and a weekly Climate Justice prayer group (sign up via Churchsuite)
13 NEW songs on themes of creation, ecology & CHRISTIAN hope.
Thirteen new, congregational worship songs that celebrate the wonder of creation, acknowledge our failures, and anticipate a glorious restoration in Christ.
Months of writing, including an international serarch for songs, have led to this collection which brings together doxology (praise) and ecology, giving much-needed new worship language to the church. The album, recorded during lockdown and produced by Matt Weeks, features guest vocal contributions from Gemma & Tim Scharnowski, James Martin, Silla Mosely, Paul Zach, Andy Zipf, Ryan Flanigan and Matt Tinsley, alongside several of the Resound Team and participants in the 12 Song Challenge.
A large portion of the church building was refurbished to modern standards in 2009 which has provided a good basis for reducing impact on the environment. Care is taken to minimise resource use wherever possible through efficient heating and water systems, including replacement of a dated boiler system in 2020, making considerable energy savings.
As part of our journey towards Eco Church silver award we are carrying a carbon footprint audit using the Climate Stewards 360 Carbon Calculator to inform conversations about further measures we can take to reduce our environmental footprint as a church community. We are also performing a feasibility assessment for the introduction of solar photo-voltaic (PV) panels on our roof.
We periodically review our purchasing and use of consumables (including cleaning products, paper and stationery) and have switched over to more environmentally friendly products as well as reduced paper wastage through investment in and better use of digital technology. We are regularly looking at ways we can improve reuse or recycling throughout church operations and activities.
Our church garden was redesigned and replanted about 10 years ago, to provide a wide range of flowering plants and grasses that are attractive to pollinating insects and birds, as well as provide a visually attractive display throughout the year that is relatively easy to maintain. The front garden area includes a small, recessed area with seats for passers-by to rest and enjoy the garden.
As we progress towards the Eco-Church silver award we are working at further developing the bio-diversity and native wildlife friendliness of the small areas of land we manage, in conjunction with those who are the main users of these areas.
For many years we ran a regular stall for Fair Trade, promoting and selling Fair Trade products. Sadly, with the COVID-19 pandemic this ceased as a result of the loss of a suitable bulk supplier of Fair Trade goods.
We have recently re-certified as a Fair Trade church, offering Fair Trade coffee, tea and sugar for church refreshments and promoting links with Fair Trade Reigate.
In 2019 we raised funds for Toilet Twinning and have twinned the toilets within the church building, as well as encouraging individuals and households to participate in the scheme. Through this we have enabled clean and hygienic toilets to be built, significantly improving the quality of life in communities in developing countries.
Climate Action Redhill & Reigate
We periodically organise and host activities and events that provide opportunity for church and local community engagement in environmental issues, including sharing of ideas and resources. This has included litter picks near the church and hosting home energy saving events with Energy Action Reigate & Redhill.
Since 2021, we have hosted the Redhill Food Club, supporting local residents experiencing financial hardship with access to food and basic supplies, providing a sustainable solution (through FareShare) to food poverty and reducing the number of people needing to use emergency food banks on a long-term basis.
Through our weekly news, the Creation Care team regularly sign-posting church members and friends towards local, national & global environmental sustainability groups, campaigns, actions, events, causes.
Most recently we hosted a showing of The Letter for Great Big Green Week and for the last few years have taken part in Tear Funds' Big Quiz Night raising funds for poverty alleviation in countries affected disproportionately by the injustice of climate change.
We are also part of the local "Eco Churches Together" network, where we share and learn together and co-host events and actions with other churches, across all denominations who are also on the Eco Church journey in this area.
Exploring Lifestyle - Online Tools & Reading
The Creation Care team have trialed some online tools that help us examine our lifestyles for their impact on God’s earth and our global neighbours, as well as encouraging and challenging to us to live in fairer and more sustainable ways. We found the following tools to be the most interesting, informative, insightful, practical and motivating.
Why not give one or more these a go individually or as a household? Let one of the Creation Care team know how you get on or send us your feedback at email@example.com
WWF Footprint Calculator
https://footprint.wwf.org.uk/ (time needed to complete: 10mins)
Easy to use tool that helps you develop your understanding of your environmental impact with straightforward questions that don’t require you digging around for utility bills. Based on UK dataset that takes account of things like the infrastructure we all use. Clearly presented results, related to four key areas of Home, Food, Travel & Stuff,showing your annual Carbon Emissions compared to the target set for the UK government’s net zero strategy, plususeful tips and advice for further reducing your footprint.
Take The Jump
https://takethejump.org/ (time needed to setup: 5mins)
Interactive website, explaining six shifts that we need to make in wealthy countries in the next 10 years to protect our earth and how to live with joy as we do it. Sign-up, receive regular e-mails to explain the steps and encourage you to make these shifts (some of which you may already be doing), Join others on the journey too via social networking & local groups.
Encouraging households to make changes to care for God’s earth, providing ideas for next steps and recognising progress made. Covers seven areas of household life: Worship and prayer, Home, Garden, Travel, Food, Possessions, Community and global engagement.
This is a tool for those who want a more in-depth detailed look at their carbon footprint, using UK dataset. Requires energy usage, transport mileage & expenditure data. Provides itemised breakdown with downloadable data and report. Shows which are your big CO2 emission areas and provides links to NGO / Charity projects for carbon offsetting.
Plant Wise David Bookless
Since the day God challenged him, Dave Bookless has been on a mission: to share with others the compelling biblical case for caring for the planet God made for his glory and his people's enjoyment. This is not another book on green issues to make you feel guilty. The message is that there is hope. God can take your small and insignificant efforts and multiply them in his great plan.
L is For Lifestyle Ruth Valerios
How can we live more responsibly? In this A-Z, Ruth Valerio highlights the main threats to people and our planet, God's beloved creation. She shows us how, by making small but significant changes to our lifestyle, we can learn the secret of a life that is both fair and simple.
How Bad Are Bananas? Mike Berners-Lee
From a text message to a war, from a Valentine's rose to a flight or even having a child, How Bad are Bananas? gives us the carbon answers we need and provides plenty of revelations. By talking through a hundred or so items, Mike Berners-Lee sets out to give us a carbon instinct for the footprint of literally anything we do, buy and think about.
Arocha Small Group Resources
We face a huge environmental crisis, alongside a pandemic of as yet unknown length or impact (writing in 2021). As Christians, we need a biblical framework to help us respond to these crises and to continue our walk of faith with perseverance and resilience as we process these difficult challenges ourselves and seek to give Christ-centred hope to those around us.
Small groups are places where we can unpack our questions, explore biblical teaching in more detail and share our experiences and encouragement. They may be study groups or perhaps actionfocused groups, where working in community is more effective than alone. Groups help us walk this unknown journey in the safety of caring friends who are also seeking to live out a calling as disciples of Christ, with love for others and justice for creation.