A Rocha UK’s Eco Church is a learning community of churches of all shapes and sizes open to all denominations. It is an online framework to support and inspire churches and their leadership to take practical action on caring for God’s earth. It includes a toolkit of resources, an online award survey, quarterly ‘newsletter’, as well as online events and conferences.
We are aiming to reach 6,000 churches across England and Wales by 2025 to ensure that creation care is embedded into church life and worship.
Thanks to our Eco Church community for sharing their story to encourage others.
Ascension Church, Balham in London
We’ve worked hard here to make positive changes and be more environmentally friendly. As a result, we’ve been awarded our bronze Eco Church award by A Rocha UK.
We run Parish Refill, a refill station as part of our work here at Parish Coffee. It was started by members of the congregation of Ascension Church who felt they seriously needed to take practical action as part of caring for creation. They thought about setting up a refill station so they could support the local community in becoming more environmentally friendly and we had the perfect place for them to do it. Following a series of brainstorming meetings, we eventually set up a shelving area at the back of the church, in front of the most beautiful, but often forgotten, stained glass windows.
We sell a wide variety of products ranging from hand soap and shampoo to dishwasher powder and laundry liquid. All of them are cruelty free and vegan and don’t use any unnatural dyes or harsh chemicals. We currently stock products Faith In Nature and Fill. We chose Fill as they are a family run UK company which are supplied using electric vehicles and use refillable large containers, eliminating single use plastic. Both companies offer affordable, natural and ethical products.
Let’s all do our little bit for the environment and for our future on this planet today.
Barry Uniting Church Methodist / URC in Barry, South Wales
There are really important links between what we do in church, how our teaching about creation impacts on us as individuals and how we act ourselves away from church.
We are a joint Methodist / United Reformed Church LEP (Local Ecumenical Project) in Barry, South Wales. We have been encouraged by the URC synod to register and are delighted to receive the Eco Church Bronze award. Our biggest challenge was not actually the award submission – but a whole church exercise we undertook last autumn to translocate slow worms from our new church building site into our garden next door. This took us three months of two visits every day, recording the number we moved each time. It has raised so much awareness of environmental issues and became a way for members and others to get to know each other in a way they had not previously done. We hope to link with existing Eco Churches in the area and are keen to see other churches take up this opportunity locally.
Town Church (Parish of St. Helier) in Jersey.
A congregation member came across A Rocha whilst working in Northern France. Subsequently he invited Dave Bookless, (the co-founder of A Rocha UK and now the theological director of A Rocha International), to speak with our Church and the passion grew from there! We wanted to act and to do something tangible which is where Eco Church came into play.
Being part of a community of other churches all seeking to care for God’s world is truly humbling & inspiring.
We have loved getting our whole congregation involved in achieving our first step, Bronze Award and finding areas that they love that we didn’t already know of: we’ve had bird box making, ladies eco craft night organising, supply chain adjustments, children baking to raise money to twin a loo, potato planting, ‘extras’ recycling (terracycle point & bottle lids for 3D printing), worship, prayer, sermons, cigarette butt clean ups, water refill sites, etc.! We are doing what we can and celebrating every step!
We hope to continue our efforts to care for God’s earth we have put in so far and next tackle the larger bits; buildings & land – pollinator patches, allotment areas, our weekly processes, solar panels etc. Take the first small step, you will not regret it.
St George’s Tufnell Park, London.
St George’s registered with Eco Church to respond to the mission and will of God who has asked us human beings to care for the amazing gift of creation. Working towards the bronze award has sparked a range of actions around recycling, use of compostable materials and how we can maximise biodiversity on our land. The Eco Church survey has also opened big discussions about how we use energy and how we want to develop our church building and grounds for the future in light of our God-given responsibility to care for creation.
The global Church has a massive and critical opportunity to bring major change through prayer, action and leading the way in tackling the climate crises.
The beauty of the church is that it is truly global and international, there are communities worshipping Jesus Christ around the world. The climate crises we are experiencing right now demands a major shift in the way the world uses resources and cares for creation. Through committing to becoming an Eco Church, each individual church has the opportunity to play its role within the global body of Christ to bring positive change through the work of the Holy Spirit who helps us in being obedient to the will of God’s who has asked us to be stewards of His good creation.
To join the Eco Church community visit: ecochurch.arocha.org.uk
Sign up to receive our ‘Eco Church Connect’ regular email sharing the latest Eco Church developments, stories & updates here.