A milestone we celebrate at the start of 2022 is the exciting news that all 42 of the Church of England dioceses have now registered for the Eco Diocese scheme. This shows a significant commitment to getting more churches signed up to Eco Church but more importantly, that all dioceses in the Church of England are united in taking collective environmental action. This is also the case for the Church in Wales where all six of its dioceses have already registered for Eco Diocese.
In just 6 years since Eco Church was launched, we have met our ten year goal to reach 10% of churches across England and Wales. That’s over 4,500 churches across England and Wales now part of the Eco Church community, with more than 1,500 awards achieved. We are now looking forward, over the next five years, with a new goal to reach 25% of churches across the UK. This goal is in conjunction with Eco Congregation in Scotland and Northern Ireland, with whom we look forward to closer collaboration, building on the work we have done together in the Climate Sunday campaign.
A future focus within Eco Church is to achieve greater depth of churches engagement with the environment – to see many more churches being awarded and moving up the awards ladder, from Bronze to Silver and Gold.
But we also aim to expand the breadth of participation across new denominations and in parts of the country where a regional presence would enable deeper relationships to be built.
Great progress is being made in Wales for example, with St Asaph Diocese recently achieving a Bronze Eco Diocese award. Creating materials for and engaging with churches where the primary language is Welsh will deepen our relationships and reach across Wales to accelerate further progress.
Thanks to All Churches Trust, we now have funding to recruit two new Eco Church Officer roles in Wales and the North of England. Please see more details here.
Image: Salisbury Cathedral by Ash Mills