In the spring of 2021, the PCC of St John’s signed up to join the Eco Church community, run by A Rocha UK. The PCC agreed to appoint a “person or group” to champion action and work towards gaining recognition under the Christian charity’s award scheme.
A Rocha, a Christian charity, offers churches – of all denominations – the chance to demonstrate that the Gospel is good news for God’s earth through an awards scheme. This puts sustainability at the heart of a church’s thinking.
Bronze, Silver and Gold standards are available once a church meets an equal level in five categories:
Worship and teaching
Community and Global Engagement
More than 3,000 churches across England and Wales have signed up to Eco Church, while just over 1,000 have attained an award – only a handful have Gold.
A group of enthusiastic parishioners has since come together to learn more about how our church community can achieve the first stage, Bronze level.
A Rocha offers many resource tools to help churches make progress in each category.
The church answers a series of questions in each category, with positive answers gaining points. Many of these questions underline what churches are already doing and, indeed, on reading the questionnaire, St John’s works at least in bronze in some of the categories.
Many ideas have been discussed. For example encouraging walking, cycling or car sharing as a method of reaching services, improving our church site for wildlife and assessing utility bills. Recycling items – or days - and starting a communal Christmas/Easter card scheme were also mentioned.
Junior church have taken on the cause enthusiastically, building bird boxes and planting bulbs (to take home) at their sessions since September.
Meanwhile, there are many aspects of Scouting badges that overlap with Eco Church principles. Our intercessions now pray for the environment on a regular basis. This summer, mowing regimes also took into account pollinator seasons.
Would you like to help? Do you have professional skills that might help us assess the carbon footprint of our buildings? Would you like to get involved in maintaining the church buildings? Or the land, with an eye on conservation? Could you help parishioners access Fair Trade goods? Could you run a scheme to twin our toilets with those abroad? Could you do a little fundraising to pay for the bronze award recognition or other costs that could come up?
Do contact us via email at the office to be put in touch with our team!