Follow Jessica on Twitter @CrossAndLeaves or follow the Five Leaf Eco-Awards @fiveleafeco

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Story of: Charlestown Anglican Parish, Newcastle, NSW

Winners of the Five Leaf Eco-Awards Basic Certificate, Eco-Worship Award and Advanced Eco-Outreach Award.

As Christians, we consider that we are stewards of God’s world and it is our duty to care for Earth, including other species, other human beings, and future generations, all of whom deserve to share in God’s creation. Our primary objective is based on the fifth mark of the Worldwide Anglican Communion mission: “to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and renew the life of the earth”.

Our work has involved a variety of initiatives both within and outside our parish and diocese. One of our projects involved the restoration of the Winding Creek Gully and implementation of a rainwater harvesting program. This project had funding from the Australian Government’s Community Water Grants and involved the installation of 3 3,300 bladder-style tanks under St Alban’s hall to harvest rainwater to supply the toilets, wash basins and

gardens. It is estimated that up to 130,000 litres of water per year will be saved. As well as saving water, the project involved rehabilitation of the Winding Creek Gully adjacent

to St Alban’s church to remove lantana and improve the water quality and erosion in the creek. In addition to restoring the ecological value of the gully, a significant outcome from this project was being able to mulch and recycle the lantana that was removed. A variety of native plants were used to stabilise the bank and create an attractive area for use by the community as a quiet haven. The project has also involved reshaping the eroded creek bed to prevent ongoing erosion.

As part of the Gully restoration project, a Waterwatch program was established by our Godly Play group to monitor the quality of the runoff water from the surrounding commercial and residential properties in the area. Results are posted regularly on One of the unexpected outcomes from the water monitoring was the identification of very high phosphate levels in the water in the St Alban’s gully area on some occasions and a campaign was developed to inform local residents and businesses

in the area to reduce the contamination. Valuable partnerships have been developed with the Hunter Central Rivers Catchment Management Authority, Charlestown Square Shopping management and the Lake Macquarie City Council, who have assisted us with training and support in producing brochures and other material for distribution within the community. The Godly Play group also marked the stormwater drains in the area with a stencil stating that “The Lake Starts Here”.

Parish Council has undertaken an environmental audit based on the “Becoming an Eco Congregation” model to reduce our environmental footprint. This included a survey of water and energy use within households of the parish. With the assistance of a grant from the NSW Government Energy Savers stream we are also in the process of testing, demonstrating and installing low energy, long lasting LED lights in the church and hall as well as a solar hot water system for the hall kitchen (resulting in a potential energy saving of 8,000 kWh per year.) An environmental play, “On the Sixth Day” written by one of our parish members was performed by the Godly Play group (to a packed house) and sought to encourage us all to reduce our impact on the environment. The group created and sold fridge magnets that featured artwork that was prepared as part of the play. The funds (in addition to donations and a grant from Lake Macquarie City Council) were used to buy an 80 Watt photovoltaic (PV) solar panel to power 3 11 Watt compact fluorescent security lights through the night. The lights will save 100 kWh of electricity throughout the year and approximately 100kg of carbon dioxide.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Important Lessons from the Bible

Why Jesus came:
"that the world might be saved through him"
John 3:17

Who Jesus is going to use to save the world:
"For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God."
Romans 8:19

Our role on earth:
"The LORD God put the man in the Garden of Eden to take care of it and to look after it."
Genesis 2:15

The Five Pillars of A Christian Theology of Sustainability

1. God is the creator, sustainer and redeemer of creation.

2. Covenantal Stewardship (we have a covenant with God as stewards of the earth).

3. The creation-fall-redemption paradigm (God made a good world; human failure broke the relationships between god, man and creation; Christ provides hope for all creation).

4.Bodily resurrection(we will rise with bodies, not as spirits)

5.New Creation (a new Heaven and new Earth refers to a renewal and an earthing of heaven, not starting over).

Adapted from When Enough is Enough: A Christian Framework for Environmental Sustainability, Edited by R.J. Berry, Published by Inter-Varsity Press, 2007, Nottingham p43+