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. The aim is to put 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.
The committed actions of various groups meant the church achieved an Eco Church Bronze award in July 2022. Some of the measures implemented to date include:
Worship and teaching
The ministry team ensure that environmental issues are now mentioned more regularly in Sunday morning service prayers.
Meanwhile, there are many aspects of Scouting badges that overlap with Eco Church principles. Our associated Scout group have made a wildlife survey carried out during the second summer of Covid an annual activity.
The new community centre has been built to modern standards and as such creates a good platform to minimise the churches impact on the environment. Care is taken to minimise resource use wherever possible through the use of efficient heating and water systems.
The junior church have fundraised for toilettwinning.org and have raised enough money to twin all of the toilets within the church and community centre with communities in developing countries.
This will allow for clean and hygienic toilets to be build in 12 communities significantly improving their quality of life. For more information click here
As the churchyard at St Johns sits in between Earlswood and Redhill commons and as such represents an important link between the two for wildlife. To enhance this the congregation have carried out various activities to enhance this.
Bird boxes, put together by junior church, have been erected in various places around the churchyard where areas left wild for pollinators have been expanded.
Community & Global Engagement
The church recently hosted an local event on behalf of Eco-Earlswood to allow local suppliers of sustainable products to sell there goods to the congregation and local community.
The afternoon was well attended and will hopefully become an annual date for the diary in the church calendar along with further events throughout the year.
At St Johns we are committed to minimising our impact on the environment by recycling not only our own consumables but also those of the congregation and local community.
We collect crisp packets on behalf of the Crisp Packet Project (https://crisppacketproject.com) that are then turned into sleeping bags for the homeless. If you would like to get involved please bring your rinsed and flattened crisp packets to the collection box in the Community Centre.
In addition to crisp packets the church also collects used printer cartridges, stamps, batteries, electronic devices, foreign currency and old jewellery for recycling. Again the collection boxes for these are in the community centre reception and in some cases will also help raise much needed funds for the church.
to find out more check out our recycling blog here
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. Initially, junior church were asked to assess how they came to church - by car, by bike or walking.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to be put in touch with our team!