3 children digging in garden

A Rocha UK’s Eco Church Awards

A Rocha UK’s Eco Church Awards require the churches who apply to demonstrate their commitment to caring for creation, ranging from optimising energy efficiency to discussing climate change in sermons.

Recently, the diocese has reached the 5% threshold of Bronze Award churches which we need to achieve a Bronze Eco Diocese Award. More than 50 of our churches are working towards their Eco Church status now, of which 16 have at least a bronze award.

St Patrick’s Nuthall achieved their silver award by consciously making greener decisions over the years, such as when they needed to replace their lights in 2012, they chose LEDs instead of standard bulbs to reduce both their bills and their carbon footprint.  

Revd Canon Barbara Holbrook said, “When we look at the Bible, right at the beginning, God gives humans stewardship of the planet, not ownership.

We also have a duty to care for God’s people, so we encourage our congregation to use Fair Trade products. We trialled new coffees for after church and held a wine tasting for our community to find drinks that fairly support the farmers who grow the produce.

Every few years, we have a Green Festival where we have stalls with things like maps for local cycle routes and free bike repairs as well as donated preloved toys to prevent them going to landfill.”

Recently, the Priory and St. Paul’s Church in Worksop have received their Bronze Award. They found that they were already achieving some of the targets in their everyday activities.

Their curate, Father Michael Vyse told us: “For example, we were planting herbs with some of our youngsters and helpers in the new garden at St. Paul’s, as part of our monthly ‘Muddy Church’. A Bible story and a prayer are followed not by a talk, but by action.

Some of the other audits have been challenging as with limited resources and historic buildings, there is only so much we can do about wall insulation or double-glazing.

But more than gaining awards, we are moving forward on a path of living as a church professing faith in God who has created all things and restored and renewed them.”

If your church is considering working towards an Eco Award, visit A Rocha UK’s website for details.

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