St. Hilda’s by the Sea Anglican Church in Sechelt, B.C. was one of the first parishes in the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster (80 parishes in an area between Hope and Powell River) to receive official Green Accreditation. The Green Parish Accreditation Program was developed to give recognition to churches that have demonstrated a strong commitment to environmental stewardship. Churches had one year to document completion of greening actions in the following areas: (1) Energy Conservation; (2) Reduce, Reuse and Recycle; (3) Ground Care and Maintenance; (4) Transportation; (5) Church Communication; (6) Religious Education, (7) Worship and Liturgy; and (8) Environmental Justice.
The most rewarding aspect of the accreditation program, are the eco-justice initiatives that St. Hilda’s has undertaken. As Christians, we are to love God and love our neighbour as ourselves. To love God is to love and respect God’s work i.e creation. Loving one's neighbour is more than loving family and friends. In Eco-justice terms our neighbours are: those who are affected by climate change. Our compassion and concern are for those who have been hit the hardest and have had few benefits from the environmental changes occurring, most often the extreme poor. Our neighbours are the future generations. We must provide them with ecological sustainability and sufficient resources for their well being. We must change our consumptive and destructive lifestyles. Our neighbours must also include the rest of creation as we are neighbour to all the variety of life that share the planet. We must care for biodiversity and for the natural systems that maintain life.
St Hilda’s appointed environmental advocate is Bruce Pond