Lyme Regis Baptist Church
A recognised eco-church
A desire to reach out to youth and young adults has resulted in a new project called ‘The Driftwood’
‘if you build it he will come’...
Chris Woodman, Minister of Lyme Regis Baptist Church shares two remarkable ways God has challenged and guided them, and his daughters have played a key role.
for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers - all things have been created through him and for him.
Being the one Baptist community in Dorset in the World Heritage Site of Lyme Regis, they are church that have taken very seriously a commitment to becoming an eco-church. Having a deacon who is a well-known botanist and a daughter who was studying a Human Geography degree, God’s plan began to take shape. She made the links with green theology and when her University suggested doing a survey relating faith to environmentalism for her dissertation she jumped at the opportunity.
This led to the church taking on a recognised way they could measure their environmental commitment. A Rocha UK is a Christian charity working for the protection and restoration of the natural world. They were the first Baptist church to get their silver eco award
and they are working towards their gold. Among other things, they have considered their energy supplier, carbon footprint, cleaning supplies and consumables as well as theology. They have recognised the debate is still there and have been questioning everything. What role does creation play now in terms of understanding the future hope of New Creation?
Chris’s other daughter trained in youth work at a Christian training centre, which involved a placement in an indoor Christian skate park. One afternoon towards the end of her course, she found herself with some friends in an outdoor skate park in the local area.
On one of the ramps one phrase in graffiti deeply affected her – ‘What if God doesn’t care’. God spoke profoundly to her through this, eventually leading her back to Lyme Regis with a desire to reach out to youth and young adults. This has emerged as a new project called ‘The Driftwood’.
The vision is for the creation of an attractive, well equipped, contemporary space through the refurbishment of the church’s room used for weekly coffee mornings.
The desire was to create a space in which people would love to spend time, where relationships could thrive and grow through a variety of activities - a space where the love of God and good news of
the Gospel is manifest. The congregation wholly supported this and provided much of the finance. Now nearing its completion, it has attracted the attention of people both local and beyond, creating a great sense of excitement and anticipation.
The work has been spurred on over the year as a number of people experiencing the progress have all quite independently found themselves quoting a phrase from the film ‘Field of Dreams’:
‘if you build it he will come’
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