Ruth, who is A Rocha UK’s Churches And Theology Director, lives within the diocese. And she‘s been part of her local Diocesan Environmental Action Group since it started 18 months ago.
Chichester’s Diocesan Synod recently approved a new policy as a result of the group’s work. In addition, Ruth has worked with Rural Officer Mark Betson (pictured) in talks to bring this issue into clergy training.
‘On their initiative, we’re planning a day in September to bring clergy and other interested people together to look at how to take “your” church through the Eco-Congregation audit, a scheme that is run by A Rocha UK,’ said Ruth.
‘Some of the day will be led by people in Chichester Diocese from churches that are already Eco-Congregations. So that’s a very positive step.’
Mark Betson said he was ‘delighted’ they now have the go-ahead for this important development in their strategy. ‘I’d like to thank all those that worked hard on getting the policy to this stage,’ he pointed out.
The hope is for parishes to take up a free environmental audit with Eco-Congregation. Two Sussex churches – Southover Church in Lewes and St Paul’s in Chichester – have already been honoured in A Rocha UK’s scheme.
‘I urge every parish to get this onto the agenda for their next PCC meeting,’ said Mark. ‘We look forward to many more of our churches winning awards.’
Following an audit, parishes choose options based on what they can achieve and afford. Some options will save money or create an income rather than be an additional cost. This is a free self-assessment, but to be considered for an award there is a £50 sign-up fee and £50 for the award itself.
Church House administration centre in Hove is the latest building to sign up for an audit. A copy of the policy and supporting notes from the Synod meeting are available through the Chichester Diocesan website (http://www.chichester.anglican.org).