Anglican Churches join others for the environment – EcoWHam and EcoLocke Groups in Hamilton area

Sue Carson

Ten years ago at a KAIROS conference, parishioners from some Dundas Churches decided to start a Christian Environmental group in Dundas.  

Since then the Eco Churches of West Hamilton have been meeting monthly and planning three or four events annually. At the present time the churches involved include: Anglican, Presbyterian, three United Churches, Unitarian and a Quaker group.

Sue C EcoLocke Committee
Hamilton’s EcoLocke Committee, comprised of representatives from four churches, is planning an Earth Hour event on March 30th to discuss Changing How We Live: Housing Development and Energy Efficiency. Photo: Sue Carson

EcoWHam’s mission statement is: to practice and advance ecological sustainability in keeping with Christian principles of stewardship. The Chair, Wayne Poole, is happy EcoWHam has developed a strong relationship with the Association of Dundas Churches. “It is a major achievement getting ADC, the clergy and the local community concerned about the environment.”

The events EcoWHam has hosted include Earth Hour services, clean-up days, speakers from Environmental Defence, farmers groups and climate change movies with Hamilton 350. They have also sponsored joint events with groups such as Environment Hamilton, Greening Sacred Spaces, the City of Hamilton and KAIROS.  

In 2016 churches in the Locke Street area of Hamilton decided to start a similar group. The churches participating directly include members of St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church, St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, Melrose United Church and The First Unitarian Church.  Eco Locke is always glad to have members from other churches in the neighbourhood join them.

Member Norm Newbery from St. John the Evangelist commented that as Christians, “We are following more closely Jesus Christ’s command (John 17:11) that they may be one as we (he and the Father) are one”.

Both groups have experienced greater support, more resources and a larger attendance than if they were working alone.  Working alongside similarly committed environmentally conscious Christians has meant we have an increased base and networking links.  

Sue C . EcoWHam members participating in the Cactus Parade, Dundas. DSC06114
EcoWHam members participated in the Cactus Parade Dundas. Dundas used to have many green houses and a company that grew cactuses, selling them around the world. Somehow the event stuck even after the company left town. The Cactus Festival lasts from Thursday night to Sunday, when the local street is closed for the festival. Photo: Sue Carson

Planning events has been easier with this shared commitment, and by combining resources we have a stronger voice for environmental change in our community and beyond.  

Everyone is welcome to attend EcoLocke’s Earth Hour event on Saturday, March 30th, at 7:00 p.m. at the First Unitarian Church, 170 Dundurn Street South, Hamilton. The topic is Changing How We Live: Housing Development and Energy Efficiency. 

If you would like more information or ideas on how to start a similar group in your community, we would be happy for you to contact us.  

Sue Carson, St. James Dundas and Norm Newbery, St. John the Evangelist Hamilton