Our Engagement Director Rich Bee (pictured centre) presented the honour to Dean of York Minster Very Rev Dr Vivienne Faull in July. The ceremony took place at a service in the presence of the Archbishop of York, Most Rev Dr John Sentamu and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Rev Justin Welby.
‘The improvement in position to the Silver Award came not from a short burst of action,’ said Dr Faull, ‘but from recognising the many actions we’ve been taking and continue to take with regard to our sustainability and the impact we have on our planet.
‘We’re committed to reducing our energy usage, using sustainable materials and exercising good guardianship in all we do.’
Rich Bee said York Minster’s success was built ‘not on some flashy new capital project’ – but on getting ‘the simple things right’ on its eco journey. Although the cathedral couldn’t install solar panels and secondary glazing, there were many other steps they could take towards the Silver Award.
‘They switched their energy supplier to be 100% renewables. They’ve ensured their light bulbs are LED or low-energy. They planted a sensory garden outside the walls and are recruiting volunteers to manage it,’ said Rich.
‘They’re committed to preaching about care for God’s earth. They promote the consumption of goods that are fairly traded. They‘ve measured their energy use, calculated their carbon footprint and set targets to reduce it.’
All of this has taken time and energy to accomplish, Rich explained. ‘But the results are profound – not just for the Minster and the city of York – but for the whole of God’s earth.’ York Minster received their Bronze Award on Easter Sunday 2016 from our Chair Steve Hughes. (Photo: Ravage Productions)