Pictured above: blessing of the plough, St Andrew's Brockley, Plough Sunday 2019
One of the five Anglican Marks of Mission is "To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth".
In the Horringer Benefice, we take our green responsibilities seriously. The four church councils are currently exploring becoming an Eco Church. This involves demonstrating that we are reducing our carbon emissions, encouraging a green lifestyle, and using our resources (churchyards, church buildings, rectory, printer etc) in an environmentally friendly way. We also need to demonstrate a commitment to the environment in our preaching, teaching and worship.
Measures taken so far include switching to electricity that is 100% generated from renewable sources at St Leonard's Horringer; solar panels fitted to the Rectory roof; and the installation of swift boxes at St Petronilla's Whepstead.
In the Benefice we regularly give thanks for Creation and think about green issues. The major 'green' festivals are:
1st Sunday after the Epiphany
We pray for God's blessing on the sowed seed, and on our endeavours throughout the year. We give thanks for local farmers.
Traditionally the Sunday before Ascension Day
We walk across the benefice, praying for the land and its inhabitants, and a right relationship between the two.
A Sunday in August
We give thanks for the first wheat of the new Harvest, and use a Lammas loaf during the Communion service. This reminds us of our dependence on God's ongoing creative act, and on the rhythms of the earth.
Traditionally a Sunday in September or October
We celebrate the richness and abundance of Creation, and think of those who do not share equitably in the earth's resources, as a result of natural disaster, climate change, unfair trade or other manifestations of human greed.