There are now more than 3,000 awarded Eco Churches – and the potential for shared learning between established Eco Churches and new ones, so that many more churches can deepen their response to climate change and biodiversity loss, is significant. Here are some of the diverse ways that learning is being shared:
-Many denominational networks have Eco Champions or Eco Ambassadors who actively promote Eco Church and share knowledge within their network.
-Our ‘Gold Forum’ of 41 (and growing) gold-awarded churches share their experiences with other local churches. Bethesda Methodist Church in Cheltenham, for example, achieved its gold award in May, and is already supporting two churches on their eco-journey. They also support the Methodist Bristol District, writing for the newsletter and speaking at the District Synod in September.
-Gold-awarded Fernhill Heath Baptist Church held an ‘eco-curious’ day. It was supported by the Heart of England Baptist Association and attended by churches of various denominations, including some yet to register as Eco Churches and some recently awarded bronze churches. A repeat event is in the diary!
-Silver awarded churches in the Gloucestershire Diocese met on Zoom to discuss the practicalities of working together towards their gold awards.
-The Church of England has hosted webinars, open to all denominations, to help churches get started, move through the award stages, and look at the links between Eco Church and the Church of England’s Net Zero carbon targets. You can view these webinars on our ‘Eco Church’ playlist on YouTube here.
-A regular Prayer Forum enables people from different denominations to come together and pray for the environment at a local, national and global level.
-Key eco-denominational leads can now access church data (not personal data) to find out which churches are getting involved in Eco Church in their areas.
-We want to enable even more network-building and will be exploring ways to share contact details with denominational leads whilst still complying with data protection legislation.
-Many churches proudly share their Eco Church journey and stories on their website. Anyone can look up Eco Churches on the Eco Church map to find local churches to reach out to and share experiences.
– Not only are all these activities by local Eco Churches and Denominations accelerating churches action for the environment, but it also makes A Rocha UK’s resources, and your support for our work, go very much further.