Rachel and Bob MashRachel and Bob Mash

Rachel is the coordinator of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa’s environmental ministry.

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Bob and Rachel Mash joined St Paul's and St George's when they were at University. Bob was one of the original ‘church plant’ from St Thomas'. They were married at P's and G's and Rachel worked as community outreach worker for a year. They have spent the last twenty years in Cape Town, South Africa.

Rachel is an ordained minister with the Anglican Church of Southern Africa and Bob is a Medical doctor. He is the head of Family Medicine at Stellenbosch University and focuses on developing Family Medicine in South Africa as well as supporting its development in Southern African countries such as Botswana.

Sean is studying Architecture at the University of Cape Town and Ciara is studying graphic design.

P's and G's is supporting Rachel’s role as coordinator of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa’s environmental ministry. (SA, Swaziland, Mozambique, Angola, Namibia, Lesotho).

Rachel's Work

  1. Providing resources for Creation Care
    We try to make contacts with clergy and leaders in the six countries and provide sermon outlines, prayers and resources for creation care services such as 'Season of Creation', World Environment day, Water week, 'Arbor Week' etc. We have put together a manual for Sunday School on creation care and are working on youth materials.
  2. Encouraging local action
    We encourage churches to become eco-congregations and to look at use of electricity, water and the use of church land. Many churches have land and we are encouraging organic vegetable gardens. Churches also get involved in clean up campaigns and environmental education. We also encourage outdoor services such as youth ‘holy hikes’ and church in an eco-system such as 'beach church’, 'mountain church’, or ‘forest church’.
  3. Training for leaders
    We have recently run a camp for young environmental ‘movers and shakers’ and run training for Sunday school teachers. I also train clergy in the various Dioceses about climate change and environmental degradation and the theological response. I am working on some materials for seminary.
  4. Advocacy
    We encourage the church to get involved in various advocacy issues by providing theological resources and information on various issues such as fracking, nuclear and encouraging a move to renewable energy. Climate change is a huge issue for us as Africa is so vulnerable.
  5. Anglican Communion
    Archbishop Thabo of Cape Town is the Anglican Communion Environmental Convenor so Rachel sits on the Anglican Communion Environmental Network steering group. We are identifying 'eco-bishops’ who are bishops from Dioceses impacted by climate change who are taking action. We are planning a strategic planning meeting in Cape town in February with 15 bishops to look at how to tackle these issues on a global Anglican level. We have just heard that Bishop David Chillingworth will also be joining us.
The Annual report 2014 for the Anglican Church of southern Africa Environmental Network can be found here.