Eco Advisory Group
The St Andrew’s Eco-Advisory Group seeks to support the Church in taking forward this vision via information-sharing and practical advice. We are here for all members of the Church as well the wider community, and are delighted to work with other partners who share this vision wherever possible.
What we do
The Eco-Advisory Group is here to be a point of contact and a resource for all of us and we are delighted to hear from you at any time. Perhaps you have an idea for living sustainably that you would like the Church to consider. Perhaps you have heard about a network or initiative that it would be useful for us to know about. Or perhaps you would like to talk to someone or pray about how your Christian faith might relate to this issue? If so, please do be in touch.
To provide information for church members and the wider community about initiatives being taken by the Church, and to signpost resources that may be of interest as we seek to work collaboratively.
To reflect and advise the leadership of the Church (including the Vicar and PCC) on what practical steps we can take to embody more fully God’s care for his creation, including working towards becoming a carbon neutral church in the future.
The group reports at least every 3 months to the Vicar, and at least every 6 months to the PCC via a written report.
Who we are
We are regular members of St Andrew’s church. The first thing to say is that we certainly don’t have all the answers ourselves! And we would be the first to admit that we often fall short in the choices and decisions we make about our own sustainable living. But with God’s grace, we seek to walk alongside the Church as we journey together.
We particularly wish to encourage thinking about the environmental crisis in its wider context. Climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution and all the other environmental threats we read about in the news are one part of a much bigger story, one that involves real people and real communities all around the world, especially the poorest and most marginalised. We believe that God calls us to consider all of this as we think, pray and act about environmental matters.
Our current members are
Photos coming soon!
Natasha Robinson (group convener): Natasha is a partly-retired hospital doctor, married to the same (David)! She was born and brought up in Oxford and lives within walking distance of the Church! Natasha and David attend the 11.15am service mostly. She is involved in various local community groups, some with an environmental focus, others not. Creation care is very much a manifestation of her faith and has been part of her life for as long as she can remember.
Olivia Bush: Olivia has been a member of St Andrew’s for about 3 years, attends the 6pm service and is a member of a home-group. She works for a medical charity reducing the environmental impact of healthcare, has a keen interest in natural history, and has long been interested in care of creation as an inspiration for and expression of Christian faith.
Tom Kempton: Tom usually attends the 9.30am service. He is married to Martha and has four children who have grown up at St Andrew’s. Tom is a retired secondary school science teacher, and has worked hard to include environmental topics in the science curriculum. He has been keen to develop creation care within the Christian faith, and has been a member of various church eco-groups. He has helped with the recent conference The Earth is the Lord’s, and related house group studies.
Tim Howles: along with Sarah and their two children, Thea and William, Tim is a relative newcomer to St Andrew’s, normally attending the 9.30 service. He works for an environmental research institute at the University and is passionate about enabling Christians to think “hopefully” about the crisis we face.
Sarah Smith: Sarah has been a member of St Andrews since childhood and is currently completing her MA in History. She has been passionate about protecting the environment for as long as she can remember and is part of the Young Christian’s Climate Network. She is eager to help people find the resources they need in order to allow them to make environmentally informed decisions.
In the coming month we will be developing a resource page with ideas about how you can learn more and participate in whatever way you choose. But for now, perhaps we can point you towards a few key resources.
Our very own Diocese of Oxford has been a leader within the Church of England on environmental matters. It is well-worth subscribing to their monthly newsletter Care for Creation, which provides news, ideas and things to read, all packaged in a very user-friendly way. Their Ecohub is full of useful links and practical resources.
If you wish to examine why all this should matter to Christians, then we recommend reading one of the following:
A Christian Guide to Environmental Issues, by Martin and Margot Hodson
This book explores the biblical basis for looking after the environment and helps us to integrate environmental thinking into our understanding of our Christian faith.
The Bible and Ecology, by Richard Bauckham
A book that goes a little deeper, but provides wonderful insight into how the Christian faith encourages to understood our relationship with the world in terms of a “community of creation”.
If you wish to dig deeper still, the John Ray Institute maintains an online environmental resource library, including briefing papers on a variety of subjects, bible studies and group resources, reports from conferences and other events. Visit the library here
Resources For Children
If you are looking for resources for children, then new publications are appearing all the time. We would recommend Planet Protectors: 52 Ways to Look after God’s World by Ruth Valerio, a wonderful book for 6-10 year-olds that contains interesting facts, Christian theology and practical tips.
All these books can be purchased relatively cheaply via local bookshops.