Suffolk church snatches the silver

29 April 2016, Comments Comments Off on Suffolk church snatches the silver

suffolk churchAn award-winning Suffolk congregation has added Eco Church to its growing list of accolades. Emmanuel Church, Bungay, has snatched the first ever Silver Award in A Rocha UK’s scheme.

The honour has been bestowed following more than £140,000 worth of work on the church’s community buildings. It comes as the national Eco Church scheme celebrates more than 200 registrations.


Among Emmanuel’s other accolades are the Suffolk Greenest County Award and East of England Energy Efficiency & Retrofit Awards. Emmanuel is a local ecumenical partnership between the Methodists and United Reformed Church. Its environmental action began after a local climate change conference in 2007.

Back then, the church helped form a community movement called Sustainable Bungay, which became a member of the Global Transition Network. Emmanuel followed that by starting its own ‘Going Green’ project to carry out major works on its community buildings.

A vast range of eco-fittings were installed – from under floor heating and loft insulation to solar panels (pictured) and ground source heat pump. While work was underway, church members collected samples of materials to create physical displays – with the aim of encouraging others to follow their lead. ‘We took a photographic record,’ said Going Green leader Graham Gibbs, ‘which we had printed as a book.’ The result was a ready-made display for events to illustrate the church’s eco-journey.


Work is continuing – with the main church building next for an overhaul. ‘But it’s about more than the building,’ said Graham, ‘it’s also about encouraging church members to think much “greener”.’

Methodist Minister Rev Jacquie Evans said church members are ‘very proud’ of all that’s been accomplished. ‘It’s a great talking point for people,’ she explained. They don’t need to enforce their green ideas. ‘Everyone seems willing to embrace these sorts of things,’ Jacquie added.

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