Creation Care Champions
The role of Creation Care Champion, assigned to one person or even better to a group, is a very important and useful one in the life of every parish.
The task of a Creation Care Champion (an environmental champion) is to help their church and congregation or a deanery or episcopal area, in fulfilling God’s command to “till and keep the Earth” (Genesis 2 v 15) – in their local circumstances.
Activities and concerns which a church is encouraged to engage with – supported by its Creation Care Champion(s) – may include:
- Environmental campaigning and action
- Encouragement, education, enabling, promoting lifestyle changes
- Property and premises management – churches and churchyards, vestries and offices, halls etc
- Cutting energy and carbon, water use and waste
- Caring for wildlife and ecology in the churchyard
- Fairtrade and food
- Taking part in Eco Church.
Environmental action is the responsibility of everyone. It can’t be done by just one person.
Even if one person is appointed your Creation Care Champion, they’ll still need to draw in the support and participation of others.
An informal open action group of energisers and encouragers, with a core to provide stability and organisation, is probably the best way to support this effort.
Am I a suitable person?
There are no special qualifications to become a parish Creation Care Champion. You don’t have to be an expert, just to share a love for God’s creation, and a willingness to communicate, listen and learn.
The Parish Priest of your church with the Church Council (PCC, GCC or DCC) should be responsible for making this appointment – it is essential that they are supportive of actions by their Parish Champion(s) and/or environment group.
To set the ball rolling, how about take the initiative? Do some volunteering, start pulling together a larger action group – then suggest making this a formal arrangement.
First agree with the Parish Priest and Church Council what the job involves. Make sure all concerned understand what the time commitment will be, what you are planning to do, and how others will play their part. Report back regularly on progress.
Set a time limit for the appointment – such as 3 years. This makes the commitment less open-ended!
Also it provides a natural review time for the Church Council to look back at progress made, and forward to the next period. When the Church has appointed its church’s Creation Care Champion(s), please tell the Head of Environment and Sustainability – please say if you want to be added to mailing lists.
You aren’t on your own! The Church of England and Diocese of London are ready to provide or direct you to a wide range of resources:
Churches and People
The environment and Mission Action Plans
The environment around the year
Resources on the environment.
Environment and Sustainability, front page.