London’s Anglican churches are engaged in a concerted effort to snatch the green gong – the Eco Church award.
Ever since the launch of A Rocha UK’s Eco Church initiative earlier this year – when St Paul’s Cathedral scooped the first Bronze Award – the Diocese of London has been encouraging its congregations to embrace the scheme as part of its bid to be a leader in environmental action.
As a result, a further 16 churches in the diocese have registered with Eco Church – with seven in Ealing Deanery alone, where A Rocha UK’s office and Wolf Fields community reserve are located. Two more Bronze Awards have been confirmed for St Mary’s, Hampton, and St James’s, Piccadilly. St Mary’s – a local landmark near historic Hampton Court – has already received its award from A Rocha UK chief Andy Atkins during a recent Sunday service (pictured).
‘We previously set a challenge of 11 churches to be signed up – then each to recruit 11 more,’ said Brian Cuthbertson, Head of Environment and Sustainability in the Diocese. ‘That would total 132 in all.
‘We’ve now barrelled past our first 11. So now we need to move on to the next phase. We’re aiming for 40 churches signed up by the end of 2016 – with four of them receiving awards.
‘We believe care for the natural environment – which is God’s creation – is a fundamental duty for all Christians. Now we must get all these churches recruiting others!’
Eco Church was launched at St Paul’s Cathedral in January. It drew start-up support from the Church of England, the Methodist Church, Christian Aid and Tearfund.
Registration and application are free to any church that wants to take part in the online survey. Demand has been so great, A Rocha UK have launched an appeal fund to keep the scheme spreading throughout England and Wales. You can donate here.