Celebrating one thousand Eco Churches
1000 churches across England and Wales have now signed up to A Rocha UK’s Eco Church award scheme. Using the free online survey and associated resources, churches are being equipped to take action to care for God’s earth, through their worship and teaching, the way they care for their buildings and grounds, in their community engagement, as well as the personal lifestyles of church members.
Reaching this major milestone is a huge encouragement. It demonstrates that the UK church is becoming more aware of its environmental responsibility and the importance of creation care. As Helen Stephens, Church Relations Manager for A Rocha UK, explains, ‘[it] shows that there is real concern for our environment and interest in caring for God’s earth … involving Christians from all denominations and church backgrounds.’ So far over 250 churches have been awarded Bronze, Silver or Gold Eco Church awards.
The 1000th church to register is Stamford Methodist Church, a community that is already taking action for the environment by using a green energy provider and serving Fairtrade tea and coffee at services. Their Saturday morning café uses food donated by supermarkets and farmers, that would otherwise be thrown away. We are tremendously proud of the impact so many churches are having within their communities.
‘The work that they’ve carried out to receive their certificate not only has a positive environmental impact,’ says Andy Atkins, A Rocha UK’s CEO, ‘it touches and involves the community around them and makes a great statement about how faith impacts actions.’