Called to Care for Creation
We live in a beautiful world. As Christians, we believe that our planet is the good gift of a loving Creator, who has given us the natural world to look after, to steward, and to nurture. When we do this, we connect with God’s good creative purposes for us.
Stewardship of God’s creation has been a primary calling upon God’s people since the earliest pages of Genesis. The New Testament teaches that God’s redemptive purposes encompass creation, which has been subjected to frustration and is longing for liberation from its bondage to decay (Romans 8). As Christians, we follow Jesus, who came to reconcile to himself all things, on earth and in heaven (Colossians 1).
This Christian responsibility to care for creation places environmental activism firmly within the 5 Marks of Mission, first adopted by the Church of England back in 1984:
• To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
• To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
• To respond to human need by loving service
• To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation
• To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth
At St Thomas’ Church, we are committed to living out this God-given calling to care for creation. This is why the church council (PCC) took the decision on 22nd February 2021 to declare a Climate Emergency:
On the basis that:
1. The world is facing a severe crisis of environmental degradation and climate change that affects our ability to sustain human civilisation in its present form;
2. The main cause of the crisis is human activity;
3. The crisis is inextricably linked to global injustices and inequality;
4. The crisis indicates a failure of human beings to follow God’s mandate to care for the world and to seek justice among its peoples;
We, the leaders of St Thomas’ Church, publicly declare a Climate Emergency, and commit ourselves to:
1. Examine our lives individually and corporately in relation to this crisis, and seek to live faithfully to God;
2. Adopt an action plan, beginning in February 2021, to minimise our negative corporate impact on the environment and climate and to help restoration where possible;
3. Encourage our members to make relevant lifestyle changes appropriate to their circumstances;
4. Encourage action on this emergency in our neighbourhoods, workplaces and other spheres of activity;
5. Using whatever influence we may have to bring about positive actions by local and national government and by corporations.
The Eco-Church Team at St Thomas’ Church has the following aims and objectives:
• Theological Reflection: The team will facilitate opportunities for church members to encounter distinctively Christian theological and missional perspectives on creation care.
• Raise Awareness: The team will work to raise awareness of environmental issues within the life of the church, encourage church members to become active in making lifestyle changes, and make church members aware of opportunities to campaign on environmental issues.
• Eco-Church Awards: The team will work to help St Thomas’ Church to achieve the Bronze Eco-church Award Bronze in 2021, and the Silver level by 2023.
• Carbon Neutral by 2030: In line with the Church of England General Synod resolution from Feb 2020, the team will outline an action plan for St Thomas’ Church to achieve year-on-year reductions in carbon emissions, in order to become carbon neutral in our operations (i.e. the church’s activities over which the PCC has responsibility) by 2030.
3-Year Action Plan
The Eco-Church Team has developed a 3-year action plan from 2021-2023 to make significant steps towards achieving these goals. Read the action plan which was adopted by the PCC on 22nd February 2021.
We produce a regular Eco-Church Newsletter – to subscribe to our Eco-Church newsletters
Here is our current newsletter and all our back copies, in case you missed one.
Please contact us if you’d like to get involved with helping us achieve our Eco-Church aims.