St John and St Stephen’s Church is a silver EcoChurch. Care for and celebrating Creation has long been part of our identity because these weave through our wider vision of a Kingdom where all God’s children enjoy life in all its fullness. We joined the EcoCongregation programme in 2007 and since then our Eco-team have met regularly. We use resources from Tearfund, Christian Aid, Green Christian, the Iona Community and others.
Action in our Church and in our homes
Our Church year includes Creation Season as well as at least one specific environment service, and environmental issues regularly feature in our sermons, prayers and songs. At a service on 7 March 2021 we registered the Climate Emergency. We have recently launched Forest Church services particularly aimed at families.
Our electricity and gas are supplied by Ecotricity. After introducing easy-win energy saving measures like LED lights, we undertook an energy audit promoted by the Oxford Diocese and are now following the plans they provided. Although we do not have a churchyard, we are growing plants to attract pollinators and other wildlife where we can, we have lots of bicycle stands, and have just started work on a courtyard garden which St John’s school can enjoy with us. We have held events for the wider community including film shows, major speakers and information events.
Our congregation members have taken many actions at home including using green energy suppliers; avoiding or sharing cars; reducing, reusing and recycling (we have some micro recycling stations in church); using gentler cleaning materials (also used in church); and changing our financial investments (as the church has). Church meals have been a good opportunity to discuss the importance of reducing meat consumption, and where to buy local, organic or fairtrade.
Find out more
You can find out much more of what we’ve done on our blog. We are mindful that our own actions can only achieve a limited amount, so campaigning is also central to our identity as an EcoChurch. Read more about that here.