Armagh’s Flourish initiative cares for creation
At Armagh’s Diocesan Synod in October 2022 the Archbishop of Armagh launched a diocesan wide programme called the ‘Flourish Initiative’. This exciting new venture facilitated by the Rev David McComb (Lisnadill and Kildarton) and Mr David Brown, the Diocesan Youth and Children’s Development Officer, seeks to inspire and support parishes to play an active part in the restoration of God’s creation.
The ‘Flourish’ model, inspired by the ‘Lighten our Darkness’ project in Mullingar, operates through a diocesan working group which promotes Christian action and practical support for local activities, an inter–generational ground force team in every parish that designs and takes action in their own setting, and external partners guiding and supporting participants. From allotments and tree planting to community gardens and better waste management systems, this initiative is set to encourage and equip congregations to tackle climate justice on the ground.
Following the launch of the Flourish initiative, nine parishes from across Armagh diocese volunteered to act as ‘pilot’ parishes and as spring 2023 emerges, plans, projects and ground force teams are now well underway. Critically, these pilot parishes for the project make up the Flourish working group and have become a very proactive and supportive ministry across the diocese.
Commenting on developments, Mr McComb noted, “We are required as Christians to play our part in caring for the planet. We are stewards which means we don’t just maintain the soil but we should also seek to improve it. This allows us the chance to participate in God’s work of restoration. For the Church, issues around the environment and creation care provide rich opportunities to connect with our young people and adults of all ages. Many are interested in and knowledgeable about global ecology in a different way from previous generations.”
For more information on the Flourish Initiative, please do not hesitate to contact David Brown via email at email@example.com
The Diocese of Armagh is particularly grateful to the Representative Church Body for seed funding underpinning the Flourish initiative, pilot year 2022 to 2023.
With the Flourish theme in mind we are also delighted to be able to bring to your attention two excellent youth and children’s resources addressing how the Church can better respond to the climate crisis.
1. From the Church of Ireland Youth Department – an excellent ‘Climate Justice Toolkit’ packed with ideas, activities and Biblical teaching at this link.
2. From CMSI – a superb Sunday School resource offering (during Lent) climate based resources and teaching for children. Here’s the CMSI link: https://www.cmsireland.org/childrens-resource
For all your kind support, hard work and energy, many many thanks.
David Brown (Youth and Children’s Officer) and the Rev David McComb (Kildarton and Lisnadill).