Christmas Tree Forest – Croxley Green Baptist Church

Croxley Green Baptist Church, a recently awarded Bronze Eco Church, has found a great way to help people wish one another Happy Christmas in a sustainable way. For many years they have run a Christmas Post Box where cards could be shared with members of the church. “We were looking for new ideas as to how we could share Christ’s love at Christmas” says Dave Gregory, minister and member of the church’s Eco-Church Team. “This year, we’ve set up a Christmas Tree Forest in the church foyer. People write Christmas greetings on tags and tie them onto the trees. It is more covid secure and continues our journey to reduce our environmental footprint, saving paper and re-using some old Christmas Trees that might have been thrown away”. The church works with BUEN – the Baptist Union Environment Network – and locally with the school-led group “Green Croxley”. Dave added, “being in the front windows of the church, the forest raises environmental awareness with the community and helps them to know Christians care about environmental issues”. The church is continuing to look for other fresh ideas as they aim for a Silver award in 2022! Written by Dave Gregory

2021 Reflections: Celebrating major milestones and future plans for Eco Church

By November, more than 4,300 churches had registered as Eco Churches since its launch in 2016. This took it ‘over the line’ of our original ten-year goal of reaching 10% of churches in England and Wales, more than four years early!  A considerable number of Eco churches were represented in the 2,300 churches who held a Climate Sunday service and petitioned the Government to take urgent climate action in the run-up to COP26.  We also surpassed 1,000 Eco Church awards, with the biggest jump in Gold award applications, now totalling 23 churches holding a Gold award, including the first Gold cathedral awarded to Salisbury Cathedral in June. Eco Church also worshipped together. At our online service in March, we celebrated the fifth Anniversary of Eco Church with our wider community of friends, partners and Eco Church members. Then, during Resound Workship’s Doxecology tour throughout COP26 in November, we spent time in praise for God’s wonderful creation and in prayer for the climate talks. Many Eco churches also took part in the first ever Churches Count on Nature in June which involved a week of recording wildlife in churchyards. 10,000 individuals across the country enjoyed discovering nature on their doorstep and …

Ideas for a greener Christmas

Share your best tips for an eco-friendly Christmas in the comments! With thanks to Eco Church All Saints’ Church, Harpenden. Start an annual, earth-friendly, Christmas family tradition – Decorate a tree for the birds, go on a family nature hike, try to identify and count every bird you see on a Christmas Day Bird Count or participate in a nature restoration activity such as planting a small tree together to symbolise the value of God’s creation. Think prayerfully about the season ahead and consider how you might be able to give back to the earth and instill the values of sustainable living to your children, friends and community. Gift your community a tree – I Dig Trees are giving away over 7,000 free community tree packs for distribution to community groups. Register your community group to receive a free tree planting pack or join a local tree-planting group.  

Beacon of Hope ahead of COP26: 4,000 Eco Churches announced, Lindley Methodist Church, Huddersfield

We’re thrilled to announce Lindley Methodist Church in Huddersfield as their 4,000th Eco Church. Lindley Methodist Church signed up to Eco Church as part of their commitment to action following their Climate Sunday service on 5 September. This milestone of 4,000 churches committed to undertaking practical action to care for the earth comes at a critical time for the climate, ahead of the UN COP26 climate negotiations in November.  In Eco Church’s sixth year, A Rocha UK believes that Eco Church can help bring about a step change in Christian action on the environment. The Eco Church initiative is an ecumenical scheme helping churches to make the link between environmental issues and the Christian faith, and to respond in practical action. It has three award  levels, Bronze, Silver and Gold, and considers how the environment is addressed within worship and teaching, buildings and land, community and global engagement and lifestyle. More than an award scheme, it is also a growing learning community of churches all wanting to play their part in responding to climate change and biodiversity loss.  Lindley is just one church’s story, and every day the Eco Church team encounters churches playing their part. Now that Eco Church …

Salisbury Cathedral is the first Cathedral to achieve an Eco-Church Gold Award

Photographer: Ash Mills On Wednesday 16 June Salisbury Cathedral became the first cathedral in the UK to achieve a Gold Eco-Church Award from A Rocha UK, singling it out as a beacon of good environmental practice for churches addressing the climate crisis. Helen Stephens, head of A Rocha UK’s Eco Church initiative, presented the prestigious award to Canon Robert Titley, the Cathedral’s Canon Chancellor, after touring the Cathedral and surrounding land to see and hear for herself what the Cathedral and its community has been doing towards achieving their Gold Award. Also present when the award was handed over was The Bishop of Salisbury, Right Reverend Nicholas Holtam. Bishop Nicholas used to be the Church of England’s lead bishop on the environment and is due to retire next month after ten years of service in a largely rural diocese that knows at first hand the effects of climate change. Bishop Nicholas said, “I am thrilled that the Cathedral has got this Gold Eco Church award particularly because it comes just before I leave and because I hope it will be an encouragement to other churches, cathedrals and dioceses. It is really clear as we prepare for the climate talks at …

University of Winchester Chapel First to win Gold

The Chapel at the University of Winchester has won a Gold Eco Church Award for its work in sustainability. It is the first Gold award for a university chapel from the scheme, bringing the total of Gold awards presented to 17. Welcoming the news, Vice-Chancellor The Reverend Professor Elizabeth Stuart said: “At the University of Winchester we have long been passionate about caring for the earth. The Eco Church Gold Award for our University Chapel demonstrates our deep-felt commitment to and success in environmental and sustainable initiatives. As a University with a Christian foundation this award is particularly significant to us.” The University won a Silver Eco Church Award in April 2019. Since then, the University has continued to reduce its carbon emissions in absolute terms and relative to the size of its estate. Where the carbon footprint of premises cannot be reduced, it is offset. The gas supplied to our premises is now generated from renewable sources and/or charged according to supplier’s ‘green tariff’; rainwater collection facilities are installed and used; a composting/waterless toilet has been installed and recycled toilet paper is provided. A plastic-free Lent will be promoted across the University community in 2022, alongside a Lenten ‘Carbon …

Diocese of Llandaff has been awarded the Bronze Eco Diocese Award

We’re thrilled to announce that the Diocese of Llandaff has been awarded the Bronze Eco Diocese Award, the first Bronze awarded Eco Diocese in Wales. Helen Stephens, Church Relations Manager for A Rocha UK, said “It’s really encouraging to see Llandaff Diocese’ commitment to reach Net Zero carbon by 2030, involvement in this year’s Climate Sunday campaign and to see the progress being made by churches engaged in Eco Church at a parish level”. The Diocese of Llandaff is the most populous of all six Dioceses in Wales. It covers an area taking in the west of Cardiff in the east to Neath in the west, and the Heads of the Valleys road in the north. Bishop of Llandaff June Osborne said: “We are delighted to achieve this prestigious award which recognises our commitment for towards caring for God’s creation. We are facing many environmental challenges and it is important that Church leads the way forward speaking out against climate change and caring for the world around us.” In 2017, the Church in Wales’ Governing Body passed a resolution that all dioceses and churches should achieve Eco Diocese or Eco Church accreditation respectively. The Eco Church scheme, which was launched in …


Sat 8th May, 10am-1pm – online event – £5+booking fee, concession available.

Join this event for a morning of inspirational speakers exploring how as Christians we can demonstrate that the Gospel is good news for God’s earth. We will explore how to go ‘beyond Bronze’ to reach the Silver and Gold Eco Church awards.  Keynote speakers are Ruth Valerio (Canon Theologian at Rochester Cathedral), Helen Stephens (Church Relations Manager, A Rocha UK) and Jo Chamberlain (Environment Officer, Church of England). This online event is organised by Dioceses of Rochester and Canterbury, but open to all.