Caretakers of creation: church's work protecting environment

Members of the St Paul’s Creation Care group with their silver Eco Church award.

Members of the St Paul’s Creation Care group with their silver Eco Church award. - Credit: St Paul's

All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small are at the forefront of award-winning work at a St Albans church.

St Paul’s Church has been awarded a silver ‘Eco Church’ award in recognition of its work towards making the Hatfield Road church as ecologically friendly as possible.

The accolade - from Christian charity A Rocha - recognises all that church members have done, and are doing, in its church buildings, land and activities.

Philip Nalpanis, who co-ordinates the Fleetville church’s Creation Care group, explained: “We see caring for God’s creation as an important part of our calling as Christian disciples. In the face of the pressures on the environment, we are seeking to play our part in mitigating the damaging effects of global warming and loss of biodiversity.

“We want to make a difference in our locality, to raise awareness of the urgent environmental challenge, and to demonstrate how we can meet that challenge individually and as a church while still living joyfully.”

The Eco Church award takes into account the church’s worship and teaching, buildings, land, community and global engagement, and lifestyle.

It recognises the church’s creation-focused services, choice of hymns and worship songs, its prayer, teaching and other communications, plus the environmental features of the church building, including solar panels, roof fittings to admit natural light and a heating control system that regulates the temperature in each room.

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The church’s gardens are managed to encourage native wildlife, plants are grown that benefit birds, bees and butterflies and garden waste is composted.

In addition, St Paul’s runs local litter picks, supports the St Albans Sustainability Festival, is a Fairtrade church, and encourages church members to live as sustainably as possible.

Vicar Rev Diane Tregale said: “In the UK we might think that issues of climate change are a problem for tomorrow but for millions of people the devastating effects are being experienced now. Those who have contributed least to the problem are affected the most. As members of the global community, we have to take action now and do and pray all that we can to reverse global warming.

“The first command God gave to human beings was to be wise stewards of the Earth and to take care of it. Never has there been a more urgent time to be reminded of this call and creatively to work out what it means in our time.”