As a church we recognise the importance of our individual and corporate stewardship of our planet Earth, God’s amazing creation. We are also aware that there is a role we can play in working for Climate Justice, for those around the world who are most affected by the current Climate Crisis.
At Holy Trinity and St John's we have been looking to reduce our energy usage by switching to LED bulbs and having our flood lights on timers so that they are only on when the buildings are in use. We have reduced our paper usage and now have a weekly church email rather than the notice sheets. Recycling and food waste bins have been added and down at our Youth Centre we are delighted to work alongside Go Greener Rudgwick and host the 11 bins for "hard to recycle" plastics that cannot go in our curbside bins. This year a brand new canopy was installed for the bins, with a beautiful green living roof, full of sedum and funded by Horsham District Council's Community Climate Fund. Rudgwick has been identified as an area with higher than average carbon emissions due to the volume of traffic coming along the A281 and this living roof alone removes approximately 70kgs of carbon per year, the equivalent of a 1,120km drive. The roof also attracts wildlife and improves biodiversity in the area.
In June 2023 we did a plant survey of the churchyard, this involved several of the youngest members of our congregation racing around and getting very excited about all the different plants and flowers they could find. We then uploaded photos of our findings to the Beautiful Burial Grounds project run by iNaturalist and were very pleased to see that we still have great biodiversity. When the Sussex Botanical Recording Society came in 2016 they recorded 120 different species of plant, just within our churchyard. This is why you will see that we don't regularly cut the grass in all areas and just keep it short around the paths and newer graves. Elsewhere we try to let nature flourish!
We hold an annual Environment Sunday in November where we have a particular focus on environmental issues, the biblical truths behind why we need to care for our planet and what we as individuals and a church can do. We have had speakers from Tearfund and Horsham Eco Churches Together. We regularly praise God for the beauty of his creation in our services and pray for our planet and its people as we see the devastating effects of climate change, plastic pollution and an increasingly consumer culture. Along with https://ecochurch.arocha.org.uk/ we are also registered with the https://creationcare.org.uk/ scheme. We would encourage anyone reading this to sign their household up and see where they can make a difference in the areas of worship and prayer, home, garden, travel, food, possessions and community and global engagement.
There is much work to be done and we are encouraged that with our prayers and our actions we can make a difference.