Lucy Foster from Kendal, in Cumbria, has joined Christian conservation charity, A Rocha UK, as their Eco Church officer for the North of England. Lucy is an ordained curate and has worked for 14 years in nature conservation. Lucy’s new appointment underscores A Rocha UK’s commitment to supporting Eco Churches across the country.
Eco Church is a grassroots programme helping to grow and inspire local churches and their communities. There is an increasing desire in churches in the north of England to respond to the challenges of the climate crisis and nature loss. Lucy will be encouraging churches in their potential to transform local communities and help churches use the Eco Church award programme as a tool to tackle climate change.
Over the next five years, A Rocha UK expects to transform local churches and denominations in the UK into a significant force in environmental care and restoration. This new post will play a key role in assisting in the delivery of our strategic goal of seeing 15% of churches in the UK committed to caring for creation by 2025.
Lucy says "I am delighted to join the Eco Church team at A Rocha UK. There has never been a more important time to find, stretch and support those very special people who have the will to build a better world through Eco Church. I know that I will be able to support, advise and learn from my team and I’m excited about being part of the next phase of the Eco Church journey. I'm especially looking forward to learning about the creative ways churches across the north are nurturing God's creation and worshipping with diverse Christian communities. I see my job as part of my ordained ministry – the sentinel part of priesthood that Church of England ordination service speaks of – keeping watch and warning the community.”
The Diocese of Chester is fully committed to working towards achieving Eco-Diocese status and registered with A Rocha last year in 2021.
There are plenty of free resources from A Rocha, giving churches lots of support and advice about how to make the changes needed to become an Eco Church. There are three levels of Eco Church Award – Bronze, Silver, and Gold. In order to qualify for an Award, churches must attain the required standard in each of the areas covered by the Eco Survey. Find out more on the A Rocha website.
Ian Bishop, Archdeacon of Macclesfield, is passionate about the environment and in one of his reflections wrote " All of us can make a small difference and Christians who see life itself as a gift of God must be in the forefront of change."