Eco Church

Creation matters because it is God’s creation. So how do we care for creation?

Eco Church is one way of demonstrating that we care for God’s earth. It’s an award scheme, developed by A Rocha UK, to help churches to ‘go green’ in all areas of church life.

We embarked on our Eco Church journey in 2017, and found that good foundations already in place helped us make progress. In September 2018 we were presented with our Bronze award, and a year later we were presented with Silver. In August 2021 were were awarded a Gold Eco Church award, only the 20th such award.  It was presented in November 2021 by Br Hugh from Hilfield Friary, one of the first recipients of a Gold award.

To gain our awards we had to complete a variety of actions in five key areas of church life:

Worship and Teaching
Management of Church Buildings
Management of Church Land
Community and Global Engagement

Among other things, for Land, we drew up a new management plan for the churchyard, including managing it for wildlife (also see our Churchyard page). For Buildings we calculated our carbon footprint and  changed light bulbs in the hall and church to LEDs.

To find out what other churches are doing, see the Eco Church News page, or find out here about environmental work in Winchester diocese.  Watch this YouTube clip to see examples of other churches on the Eco Church journey:

To read more about how you can take action for nature and the climate, see Wild Christian Resources, or sign up for their monthly emails.  To calculate your environmental footprint and find out how to reduce it, use the tool provided by WWF here. For Christian reflections and resources on environmental issues, go to the John Ray Initiative.

You can take one small action to reduce plastic by filling your water bottle for free using the Refill scheme – including outside St Thomas!