Churches in France encourage ecological conversion

The Council of Christian Churches in France (CÉCEF) is encouraging local churches to support a recently created Green Church environmental certification label, asking that offerings made at ecumenical services during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity go to help finance the initiative.

The ecumenical eco-certification label called Eglise verte (Green Church) was publically launched with a new website on 18 January, at the beginning of the Week of Prayer, to promote environmental awareness in local churches, following from the United Nations agreement on climate change Paris in 2015.

“A real environmental and ecumenical dynamic took root in French churches as a result of Paris hosting the UN climate talks in 2015,” said Martin Kopp, president of the Climate Commission of the Protestant Federation of France, and the Lutheran World Federation’s advocacy coordinator at the Paris climate talks, known as COP21.

“It was a kairos moment for all the people who had been working hard on the issues for such long time,” he said, using the Greek word that means challenge and opportunity.

The Eglise verte label certifies that local churches are organizing their activities and spiritual life as well as dealing with their buildings in an environmentally sustainable manner.

It is a result of ecumenical collaboration between Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant churches in France following their cooperation in the run up to and during the COP21 in December 2015.

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