Families came to a celebration of the launch of Scientist and author Petra Crofton’s new book Science Geek Christy and her eco log book! and the start of a year of exploring the links between faith and science.
Children and families took part in a science / eco-trail in Barnwood Arboretum, just across the road from St Lawrence’s Church, Barnwood.
They took part in all-age activities at the Church Centre – playing games, solving puzzles, making salt dough dinosaur bones, looking inside a dodo and painting a butterfly collage.
Self-confessed science geek Petra is hugely knowledgeable about the natural world and loves to share her skills and faith with children and families in the Barnwood area.
She said, “After a very challenging time for everyone, due to Covid-19, and with many heartbreaking stories about climate change affecting people and the planet, we want to embrace hope and positive action this year. We believe that connecting with God, his creation and our community is really important and uplifting and we were delighted that so many people came to join us at the launch.”
She is the creator of a method of doing church called Explore Creation – people are encouraged to explore the natural world for themselves, finding out and observing more of our local ecosystems, and learning more as they follow the trail. The new knowledge is then reinforced with a Bible story and lots of crafts and games.
Charlotte, 7, said, “I really liked going to the outside church because it’s not like ordinary church. There were a lot of fun things to make and we got to play outside. I made a bug hotel in a mug and we had some cake and hot chocolate.”
Petra’s church has been awarded a grant to explore the relationship between science and faith through the church engagement programme Scientists in Congregations, which is run by Equipping Christian Leadership in an Age of Science (ECLAS).
St Lawrence is one of 22 churches and organisations in England and Wales to receive grants to be used over the next 18 months on a creative, public-facing project.
Petra’s aim for the year is to focus on science, faith and caring for God’s creation – and Creationtide in the months before COP26 is a perfect time to think about how we can better care for God’s creation. They will also be sharing resources and information through Great Big Green Week.
The next Explore Creation session is this Sunday – the 26 of September, from 9.30 – 11 am.
Science Geek Christy and her Eco-Logbook follows the story of 12-year-old Christy, her three best friends and teacher Mr Nolan, as they embark on an exciting eco-adventure to Ecuador. Along the way, they face many challenges and dilemmas, like how to travel there in an environmentally friendly way. The book, which is aimed at children 8-12 is full of unexpected plot twists as well as fun and interesting facts about wildlife, climate and creation care. It will be published by Lion Hudson UK on 17 September.
For more about Creationtide and what churches are doing to tackle climate change, visit www.gloucester.anglican.org/environment