Rich Living in Christchurch

5th November 2018

Across the country there is growing concern over plastic pollution and the deteriorating quality of waterways, and a recognition that to respond to climate change and other environmental challenges will mean changes to the way we live. What practical steps can we take to live more sustainably and how does this relate to Christian faith? In late September A Rocha partnered with South West Baptist, Cashmere Presbyterian and Grace Vineyard churches to run a weekend of events in Christchurch to explore these questions.

The encouraging turnout at the Rich Living events that weekend points to an increasing awareness that our contemporary, fast-paced consumer culture has negative impacts on personal health, societal well-being, and on the planet. The weekend began with a multi-media experiential and creative worship evening on Friday night at South West Baptist Church.

Over 120 people participated in stimulating workshops, engaged in lively discussions, and enjoyed excellent vegan food the following day. Workshops explored how our choices of food, fashion, consumer items, and building design could contribute to rich living — that can lead to both humanity and all of creation flourishing. Other workshops reflected on freshwater politics, farming for the future, and the role of digital technology in hindering or enhancing our relationships with the natural world.

“The three workshops I attended were great. Easy to listen to, interactive sessions, and lots of information. Also encouragement to take small steps.”

“Great content during the workshops.”

“Thought-provoking and motivating.”

Many participants were encouraged by the opportunity to network and dream and scheme with others about possible sustainability initiatives that communities and congregations could undertake.

For more photos of the Rich Living weekend, please check out the photo album on our Facebook page.September also marks the Season of Creation within the Christian calendar and on the Sunday morning many churches in the city continued the Rich Living theme with over two thousand people attending services focussed on themes of sustainable living and creation-care.

Thanks to organisations who supported the Rich Living weekend: Bin Inn, Cultivate Christchurch, Herb’s Microgreens, Jail Breaker Coffee Roastery, My Vita Bag, Nil, Ooooby, The EarthCare Foundation, Trees for Canterbury. The Rich Living weekend was part of the Rich Living project. We’ve distributed almost 2000 copies of the three published Rich Living booklets to people from 140 different congregations and organisations. If you’re keen to reflect on how to make sustainability integral to faith, then find others and utilise these small-group resources. Audio sessions from the Rich Living weekend can also be accessed on our resources page.


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