How to become a Gold Eco Church (England and Wales)


In a previous article, I talked about the many different measures a church can employ to become Bronze awarded under A Rocha’s Eco Church scheme. This particularly focussed on some of the cheaper and easier targets to achieve. In this article we will look at what it takes to go for gold. And what better examples than the three Gold awarded Methodist Eco Churches: Stratford-upon-Avon Methodist Church, Romsey Methodist Church, and Summerbridge Methodist Church.

 

Stratford-upon-Avon was the first Methodist church to receive the Gold award in May 2019. This journey began in 2003-2005 with annual Environmental services, the installation of low-energy lightbulbs, and the establishment of a recycling centre and compost scheme. In 2005 the church became a Fairtrade church, and a year later received their first Eco Congregation award. In 2010 the church began a major building development including solar panels, a ground source heat pump and a wildflower garden. This work finished in 2014 and led to the church being awarded the third and final Eco congregation award. The church then joined the Eco Church scheme when it was established in 2016. They worked with local groups on climate issues, encouraged other churches to get involved in the scheme and got involved in Tearfund’s toilet twinning scheme.

To find out more about the work of the church visit
https://stratforduponavonmethodist.wordpress.com/eco-church/

 

Romsey was the second Methodist church to receive the award, in May 2020. This journey began in 2016, when the church council and trustees agreed to take part in the scheme in February, shortly after it was established. By May they managed to achieve the Bronze award, through the church’s renewal project which transformed both the infrastructure and the spiritual life of the community. Continued church activities and building developments led to a Silver award in 2017 and finally Gold in 2020.

To find out more about the work of the church visit
https://www.romseymethodist.church/who-we-are/eco-church/

 

Summerbridge was the third Methodist church to receive the award, in August 2020. Although the church had previously supported Fairtrade, Toilet Twinning and Christian charities, their journey with Eco Church began in February 2019 when they first carried out an Eco Church survey. This highlighted that a more strategic approach was needed, and so an action plan was created in March. These actions included introducing environmental elements to small groups, using recycled paper for toilets and printers, using China plates, planting fruit trees, installing boxes for animals, running events for locals and inviting local politicians, and encouraging ethical investing. By January 2020 the church took the survey again and achieved Gold standard in all five categories.

To find out more about the work of the church visit
https://www.summerbridgechurch.org/caring-for-our-world

 

Register for Eco Church to start your journey here. We hope that the stories of these three churches will inspire your community to go for gold too!