Felicity Cowling-Green, Assistant Curate also known as Flic, from Wigan South Hub told us about the #EcoChurch journey they’re been on.
What made you decide to become an #EcoChurch?
In Wigan South Hub there are four parishes with Church of England schools, six churches and many worshiping communities! It became clear that in all these communities, we have children and adults with a real heart for justice and for God’s creation.
Two of them, Anne and Chris Wooff, who have had a particular passion for some time, have helped to coordinate the eco surveys across the hub. As we’ve begun to partner across the hub churches in other aspects of mission, it only made sense that begin the eco church journey together.
As with all we do together, we find it a great blessing to learn from one another’s creativity and passion.
What were the main things you have put in place at your church to help the environment?
We launched our eco-church initiative in May with weekly ‘eco challenges’ culminating in ‘green celebration services’ around the hub. Each week, we were challenged to take a small step to help us be more mindful of God’s creation.
We started with ‘attitudes of gratitude’ - walking in creation and sharing photos on social media and in services. We also looked at waste, reducing meat consumption, and energy use at home.
Some of our primary schools and youth groups got involved during this month, and contributed to our ‘green services’. In these services, we shared a hub video across all the churches celebrating what we had been up to May and offering gentle challenges from some of our young people. The services were great fun and real celebrations of creation. We got creative, greened the altars and worship spaces, and we drew on some A Rocha material for the liturgy.
Since then, churches have been involved in several litter picks, there has been wildflower planting in partnership with one of our local communities and primary schools, and our Ashton Churches Together Picnic and Praise in the Park had a particular focus on creation. Churches have also been busy completing eco surveys.
How do you hope to encourage and inspire others?
We’ve been really encouraged by the way that a focus on climate care has enabled some partnership with the wider communities and our schools.
We’ve found that children, in particular, have a real passion for these issues (as has been evident in the recent school strikes across the globe) and have been gently challenging and encouraging us about what more we can do for the future of our beautiful world..
What are your plans to develop this further in the future?
We hope to continue building on the good work of the last few weeks! Plans are afoot to gather our ‘eco champions’ from across the churches to reflect on the survey findings, encourage one another, and plan for the year ahead.
We are particularly hoping to continue to partner with our schools and young people on these issues.
#EcoDiocese #EcoChurch #BiggerDifference