Just shy of 7 years since the launch of Eco Church in 2016, we’ve reached 2,000 awarded churches, 500 of which now have a silver award*
Christ Church, Higher Bebington recently became the 30th Gold awarded church. Years of work on their buildings and land has seen the creation of an orchard, wildflower meadow, a woodland walk and pond areas. Many of Christ Church’s groups and wider congregation are taking action on the environment, from taking part in the London to Glasgow pilgrimage to COP26 to community groups such as ‘Men in Sheds’, that make items including bird boxes for the community garden. Across many aspects of church life, they’ve adopted the 8Rs of rethinking choices, refusing single plastics, reducing, reusing, refurbishing, repairing, repurposing and, as the last option, recycling, which they say is another hidden result of Eco Church.
This is just one story that reflects how churches progressing through the awards are having a greater impact on nature. This is in line with A Rocha UK’s goal, to see ‘at least 25% of churches in England, Wales and Northern Ireland engaged in deliberate and on-going action to care for nature practically on church premises, in the community and by using their voice.’
The achievement of awards – especially for churches moving through the award scheme to reach silver and gold – is a touchstone for ongoing action to care for nature practically, especially when the government seems less inclined to do so. That is why our second goal, to see ‘12% of total churches in England and Wales awarded with at least a Bronze award by the end of 2025’, is at least as important as the first.
Acting collectively in and across our churches, we can have a significant impact for nature and we can, with integrity, keep on raising our voices to ask others to do the same.
*The number of awards made is over 2,300, as some churches have multiple awards.