Four churches across the Diocese have received our first Eco Church awards. The three Bronze and one Silver certificates have been presented by Bishop Viv to representatives of the churches, who each shared some encouraging words about their experiences working towards the award.
Eco Church is a web-based award scheme designed to motivate and resource churches to establish caring for God's earth as an integral part of our everyday work and witness. Launched in 2016, it aims to create a vast network of churches as local centres of creation care in their community, becoming shining beacons of hope for a brighter environmental future.
Bishop Viv commends the scheme, saying: The church's participation in the Eco Church movement is a reminder to every single one of us of the need to stop, to rethink, to rework how we act, to find all sorts of ways to tread more lightly on God's glorious created earth, entrusted to our care.
At the heart of Eco Church is an online survey that enables our churches to both record what we are already doing to care for God's earth, and to reflect on what further steps we can take to improve our environmental practices.
The survey covers all areas of church life. It challenges us to think about the songs we sing and the food we serve; the energy we use and the ethics of our investments; the wildlife that finds a home on our land and the water that flushes our loos. As a church completes the survey, it collects points towards a Bronze, Silver or Gold Eco Church Award.
A whole suite of resources is available to help churches to make the recommended improvements, and award-winning churches have the option of purchasing a display plaque fashioned, appropriately enough, from recycled church pews!
Mike Roberts, who received a Silver award for St Andrews Castle Combe, says: Eco Church has helped our rural church community to think about our impact on the environment. It gave us a structure to start to make changes, and engaged the wider village in taking practical steps to better care for God's world.
Start your Eco Church journey, and register today at https://ecochurch.arocha.org.uk/