Scientist and author Petra Crofton is inviting families to a celebration of the launch of her new book Science Geek Christy and her eco log book! and the start of a year of exploring the links between faith and science.
On Saturday 18 September there will be a science / eco-trail in Barnwood Arboretum which is just across the road from St Lawrence’s Church, Barnwood.
Once you’ve completed the trail, you can take part in all-age activities at the Church Centre – play games, solve puzzles, make salt dough dinosaur bones, look inside a dodo and paint 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 hope that many people will join us.”
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.
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