Peasedown Methodist Church has become the first Church in the Somer Valley area to gain one of the national EcoChurch awards.
EcoChurch is run by the Christian conservation group, A Rocha, and aims to encourage Churches to take the care of creation into every part of the life of the Church. The scheme asks Churches to look at five areas of Church life and to see what action they are taking in each area.
The first area is the Church’s worship and teaching – does care of God’s creation feature regularly in Church services and in teaching for all ages? Peasedown Methodist scored highly on this. But, it’s important that this is translated into action.
The next three areas look at the environmental standard of the Church building, at the way that any land the Church owns is used and how the Church gets involved in community engagement both at home and abroad. So, in recent months the Church has twinned its garden with a garden in Kenya where women are being encouraged, through the Bath-based charity Ripple Effect, to grow crops in an environmentally friendly way.
The final section of the EcoChurch award relates to individual life-styles and how Christians in the Church can live in a way that cares for and rebuilds God’s creation.
The EcoChurch award certificate was presented to the congregation at a service on 11th June.
Ian Souter, a retired Methodist Minister, says: “For too long the Church has ignored the need to truly care for the amazing planet that God has given us. EcoChurch encourages us to bring that closer to the heart of what we are about and to see that Christian faith addresses the whole of life.”
The EcoChurch awards come as bronze, silver and gold – the gold award is still quite rare.
Peasedown Methodist has been given the bronze award and while there are a number of Churches with bronze and silver awards in Bath, PMC are the only bronze award holders in our part of B&NES. The Church doesn’t want to stay that way.
It wants to encourage as many Churches as possible to join them as an EcoChurch award holder - a sign that creation care matters - while Peasedown Methodist Church will be working towards the silver level.