Christians are called to be good stewards of God’s creation and to look after our brothers and sisters around the world, yet we are facing a time of human-made environmental crisis.

Ripon College, Cuddesdon is striving to be one of the earliest adopters of Eco-college, a natural extension of Eco-church. Ordinand, Em Webber, describes the project.

Students work on Ripon College's Eco College project.

1.Worship and teaching – via lectures, conferences, and worship which emphasises the integrity of creation

2.Buildings – with cycle racks and increasing facilities for recycling and waste reduction

3.Land – looking after our smallest residents with bug hotels, growing & harvesting some of our own food in the allotment and orchard, and managing our woodlands as part of the newly developed forest church.

4.Community and Global engagement – As well as developing Forest church and last year’s public lecture series, we celebrate Fairtrade fortnight in conjunction with a local business, a car-share scheme for students and Meat-free Mondays in our canteen.

5.Lifestyle – Commuting is not a big issue as most full-time students walk in, so instead there has been a focus on waste reduction, ethical banking and shopping. We also stock re-fillable eco-detergents for students, reducing waste further.

This is a season of change in the college as students move onto curacies and a new year takes their place, yet we have already been contacted by students passionate about the environment, some of whom have yet to move in.  Hopefully, this means we will be able to hit the ground running towards our Eco-college bronze award, whilst listening to new students’ areas of passion and knowledge – growing together as an Eco-community.  It would be wonderful to develop a repair café with the skills on hand and practical encouragements to worship God through learning to live in more sustainable ways.

Could your parish consider working towards an Eco Church award? Read how one urban parish became one of our first. And check out the A Rocha website to find out more.