Many people welcomed the return of Glastonbury music festival in June – an opportunity to gather, celebrate and sing. I have to admit that I enjoyed my favourite artists from the comfort of my own TV, moving between the different music stages at the flick of a button – a festival made easy!
However, I was horrified to see the amount of rubbish created by 200,000 people over the five-day period. Whilst festival organisers sought to mitigate environmental damage by installing solar panels, planting trees and providing bin bags to the fans, eco-experts claim up to 2,000 tons of waste was left there, with an increase in the number of discarded tents. What a load of rubbish!
The more I explore the Messy Church Goes Wild material, the more I’m personally challenged by our ‘disposable’ culture and the rubbish way we care for God’s creation. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Christian international development charity Tearfund to support their Bin Twinning campaign.
Funds raised through Bin Twinning enable innovative start-ups overseas to set up bin collections and recycling projects in vulnerable communities. It invites you to ‘twin your bin’ with a non-profit group which are cleaning up poorer communities where, previously, people had no choice but to dump their waste, bury it or burn it. The recycling schemes are creating ‘green jobs’ and producing marketable products. For example, organic waste is being turned into compost and plastic waste into everything from brooms to benches. All the profits are pumped back into the project, for the benefit of the community.
The key message of our new Bin Twinning Messy Church session Bin Twinning session is that looking after the natural world is a way of worshipping God and loving our neighbour, wherever in the world they might be. To help us start seeing our ‘waste’ as a valuable God-given resource, the activities are designed to reuse or upcycle items in creative ways, encouraging us to think about how we best steward God’s creation. Perhaps your Messy Church could twin your church or community hall bins? If you’re meeting in a school, is there a way you could share the Bin Twinning message with the school community and work together to twin the school bins?
As Christmas approaches, for the relative who has everything, Bin Twinning have gift ideas and a range of bins you can twin, from a kitchen compost bin to a commercial bin, perfect for organisations and festivals. I know that the Bin Twinning team were working hard to get their message across to the Glastonbury crowds – imagine the difference we all could make if we just reuse, reduce and respect.
BRF Messy Church ministry lead
Picture was taken at Glastonbury by Sarah Suddrey and used by permission.