I have taken and edited this from the The Green Christian website. Whilst it is not Orthodox as such, it is in spirit because the forthcoming Halki 111 Summit in May/June is linked to this theme.
As reinventing the wheel is a waste of our time and resources, we should always consider using the work of others to aid our work. You will find other useful resource at the end of the post.
Eco-Check-up for Churches How green is your Church? It’s not difficult for your congregation, building and church office to become more eco-friendly. You’re probably already doing more than you think. The questions below give you an idea of what is involved in an environmental check-up.
Whether you worship in a cathedral or a small chapel use these questions to find ways to make your church more eco-friendly.
1. How regularly during the year are environmental concerns included in worship? • never • occasionally • only at special services e.g. harvest • frequently
2. Does your church include creation/environmental issues in its teaching, studying or preaching programme? yes no
3. Has your church involved young people in auditing and improving the environmental management of the premises? yes no
4. Has your church invited a speaker on environmental issues? yes no
5. Have you insulated the church buildings wherever possible? yes no
6. Do you choose appropriate size rooms wherever possible? yes no
7. Do you timetable meetings to minimise heating use? yes no
8. Have you fitted energy-saving light bulbs? yes no
9. Do you encourage building users to switch off unnecessary lights and not leave items on stand-by (e.g. photocopier)? yes no
10. Have you checked water outlets – and fixed drips and leaks? yes no
11. Have you installed water-saving devices (e.g. dual flush toilets and low spray flow or auto turn-off taps)? yes no
12. Have you checked the environmental policy of your bank to see if you are satisfied with it? yes no
13. Do you use environmentally-friendly cleaning materials and paint? yes no
14. Do you purchase Fair Trade products (e.g. tea and coffee)? yes no
15. Do you use local suppliers where possible (so supporting the local economy)? yes no
16. Do you use crockery rather than disposable cups and plates? yes no
17. Does your church have collection facilities for recycling items which can be used by church members, building users or local community (e.g. cans, spectacles, stamps, printer cartridges, clothes, shoes, foil)? yes no
18. Do you purchase recycled paper and envelopes (to close the loop)? yes no
19. Is your churchyard management wild-life friendly (e.g. minimal use of weedkillers and pesticides, leaving some areas unmown, valuing old trees, hedges walls and stones)? yes no
20. Does your churchyard have other features to benefit wildlife (e.g. bird feeding station, bird nest boxes, bat boxes, piles of leaves and rotting logs for insects and hedgehogs)? yes no
21. Is there a place outside for prayer/contemplation/outdoor worship? yes no
22. Does your church magazine publish green tips? yes no
23. Does your church encourage walking, cycling and car sharing to church? yes no
24. Does someone read the meters regularly to assess the church’s energy use? yes no
25. Has anyone calculated the carbon footprint of your buildings? yes no
26. Is the congregation encouraged to reduce their carbon footprint in their everyday lives? yes no
27. Does your church support overseas development/climate adaptation initiatives? yes no
28. Has your church drawn on links that members have with environmental bodies? yes no
29. Has your church supported or initiated environmental community schemes (e.g. cleanups, involvement in a transition town group)? yes no
The Next Steps.
Pass this leaflet on to your minister, and/or to your Church council. Ask them to celebrate what your Church is already doing well and to consider what further steps you can take to make your Church more eco-friendly.
Especially useful is the Green Christian ecocell programme. For modules to use in group work, bible reflections and measuring tools. Visit: greenchristian.org.uk/ecocell Hold a LOAF meal to get people thinking about food issues: LOAF stands for Locally produced, Organically grown, Animal friendly, Fairly traded. Visit: greenchristian.org.uk/loaf Produce an environmental policy for your church. Set up a Green Group. Organise a green library
The Green Christian website has plenty of other ideas to help you: • Regular Church magazine articles for you to use and adapt for your own church. • Ideas for Church seasons such as Lent and Harvest. • Point your minister to ‘Green Pointers for Preachers’. • Monthly prayer diary with points for prayer and meditation. Keep in touch: • Contact Judith Allinson and sign up for our twice monthly e-news: email@example.com
Other Christian organisations which focus on the care of Earth include: A Rocha focusing on educating and equipping the church to care for God’s Earth while demonstrating practical involvement in nature conservation: Visit: arocha.org Operation Noah – focusing exclusively on climate change. Visit: operationnoah.org Shrinking the Footprint – ideas on how Churches can reduce their carbon footprint. Visit: churchcare.co.uk/shrinking-the-footprint Cafod — www.livesimply.org
How to become an Eco Church or Eco-congregation Eco Church is a scheme managed in England and Wales by A Rocha UK to help Churches demonstrate care for God’s Earth. In Ireland and Scotland the scheme is still called Eco-congregation. It’s about incorporating the biblical ethic of environmental stewardship into the spiritual values, practical action and community involvement of Church congregations. Participating Churches first conduct an Eco Check-Up and then formulate an action plan to address the areas identified for improvement. There is a wealth of downloadable resources available to help Churches achieve the goals set out in their action plan. Visit: ecochurch.arocha.org or Visit: ecocongregations.scotland.org or Visit: ecocongregation.ireland.com The successful completion of the action plan earns Churches the prestigious Eco Church or Eco-congregation Award. Living for a future
Wherever we are in life, it’s easier to reach the destination if we travel together. If you would like to travel with us, join Green Christian. Join Green Christian Send £30 cheque or £25 Standing Order (low income £12), £40 joint/family/corporate, or a donation for church membership (recommended amount £40) to: Green Christian Membership, Flat 1, 31 St James Terrace, Buxton, Derbyshire SK17 6HS. Cheques payable to Green Christian. www.greenchristian.org.uk T: 0345 459 8460 E: firstname.lastname@example.org 10 Kiln Gardens, Hartley Wintney, Hampshire RG27 8RG. Company No. 2445198, Charity No. 328744