This week sees the start of something new for me – I’m stepping into the Management Team of A Rocha UK (ARUK) and officially becoming a Director. I’m still only part-time with them (two days a week), leaving me free to continue the other things that I do, but as of now I’m stepping up to the plate and taking on some responsibility for the organisation as a whole.
There is one main reason why I decided to say yes when asked to do this: A Rocha is unique. To put it quite simply, there is no other organisation in the world that does what it does.
Originating in Portugal 30 years ago (A Rocha is Portugese for ‘The Rock’), A Rocha works for the protection and restoration of the natural world and is now in 19 countries around the globe, from Brazil to the Czech Republic, Uganda to Canada, New Zealand to Ghana. Take a look at its international work here.
What makes A Rocha unique is its combination of practical conservation work with its Christian basis: it stands on the firm belief that there is a biblical mandate to care for this world, and that doing so demonstrates hope and love.
And it believes that agreeing with that last sentence isn’t enough – we actually have to do something about it!
And so A Rocha UK seeks to do this through practical involvement in nature conservation projects and ecological research, by campaigning on biodiversity issues, and by engaging with churches, schools, communities and individuals – educating, equipping and inspiring them to delight responsibly in, and to participate in caring for, the earth and its resources. Do take a look at what A Rocha UK does here (and please consider supporting its work – it can only do what it does because of the support of individuals).
We’ve got some exciting developments beginning this year, with a new urban project (this is what Wolffields looks like at the moment…) and a new national species recording programme starting up. My role within it all is to develop the theological thinking that underpins what we do; equip and coordinate the small team of speakers that lets others know about ARUK’s work, and find ways to help people live out a love for this world in the everyday way that they live their lives.
That should keep me busy!