Denominational Awards are available for regional groups of churches to recognise their progress toward caring for God’s creation.
The denominational awards provide a structure, like Eco Church, to bring together communities across the diocese, circuit, district or synod to work collectively. Denominational Awards are part of the Eco Church project of A Rocha UK, a Christian charity working to protect and restore the natural world and committed to equipping Christians and churches in the UK to care for the environment. The Methodist Church, URC and Church of England have worked with A Rocha UK to tailor their awards for their regional groupings. To find out the details of the denominational awards please visit the relevant pages. An overview of the process and resources applicable to all denominations can be found on this page.
Once you’ve registered your denominational region from the relevant page (Diocese, Circuit, District or Synod) we can keep in touch and you can share your progress toward the next award. You also need to register your regional administration center (e.g. House/Office) using the Eco Church platform.
This is an overview of what’s involved in gaining your bronze award. The themes are then strengthened for silver and gold awards. Visit the denominational pages for the specific criteria for each denominational award.
Commission an individual or group to coordinate progress within your regional group.
Regional House/Office and Land awards
Your administrative center of your regional group needs to achieve the relevant award (bronze, silver or gold) using the Eco Church scheme. You may not complete all the sections of the Eco Church survey but the buildings and land sections should be completed.
Eco Church Awards
As part of your denominational award you will need to be progressing with Eco Church awards at an individual church level. For the specific requirements for each level see the relevant denomination pages.
An environmental policy is needed to demonstrate high level commitment to creation care across the region.
Training and development
Throughout the process of the awards there is to be training for staff and volunteers around environmental issues and creation care theology.
Schools and education
Where regional groups are also responsible for schools they are encouraged to advocate for environmental issues and carbon reduction in these settings.
Denominational regions need to commit to developing a plan for carbon reduction.
Finance and investments
Denominational regions need to demonstrate ethical investments.
To encourage greater environmental action you are asked to promote Eco Church and collaborate with others in your region. Collaboration may reach beyond your region, across faiths or other sectors such as education or health.
To progress through the awards we expect you to promote and raise awareness of creation care and environmental issues, share resources and celebrate achievements.
Resources and information
Some of these resources and links are ecumenical, others are denomination-specific but may be of interest to all. Further resources and information are on the denominational awards pages.
For dioceses in the Church of England and the Church in Wales to support local parish churches to achieve Eco Church awards.
For Methodist circuits to demonstrate their commitment to embedding environmental care into their churches.
For Methodist Districts to demonstrate their commitment to supporting circuits and local churches participating in Eco Church.
For URC synods to visibly demonstrate their support for local URC churches to gain Eco Church awards.
As part of your denominational award, you will need to be progressing with Eco Church awards at an individual church level. For the specific requirements for each level see the relevant denomination pages.
Community Energy England is a community-led renewable energy organisation which has a useful page about funding opportunities.
An Environmental Policy can include a vision as well as commitments by the diocese. Oxford Diocese Environmental Policy is outlined on their website and covers background principles, a vision and their commitments.
The Diocese of Truro’s Cherish Creation, Cut Carbon and Speak Up: a diocesan vision and strategy for creation care and The Action Plan for the Environment are documents which together detail Truro’s priorities and how they will get there thus creating a robust policy framework.
Land and biodiversity
Nature 2030 campaign is the largest environment and wildlife coalition in England, bringing together 80 organisations, including A Rocha UK, to use their voice for the protection of nature.
Caring for God's Acre offers advice and resources to care for burial grounds and churchyards.
Caring for creation means looking after our land for the benefit of nature and people. Progressing toward silver denominational awards requires mapping of land and developing a land management plan; the Church of England’s Managing Glebe Land for Biodiversity and Climate document can help with this. There are other excellent resources, links and webinars for churches and denominational groups on The Church of England’s environment pages.
CRES is a two-year course providing an opportunity to study rural and environmental issues from a Christian viewpoint.
Green Christian holds a number of workshops and seminars as well as resources for worship and teaching.
Centre for Alternative Technology offer a number of in-person and online courses covering a range of sustainability issues, including: renewable energy, environmentally friendly building techniques and carbon literacy.
Climate Fresk offer free 3-hour workshops for the general public run by Climate Fresk volunteers.
Finance and investments
Just Money are a Christian charity providing information and resources about what we do with money, how wealth is shared and the tax system. They provide information about banking, investments, pensions and spending and run campaigns to shape the kind of world we live in.
Tax Justice UK is a campaigning and advocacy organisation aiming to ensure that everyone in the UK benefits from a sustainable, fair and effective tax system. They have projects and campaigns to engage with and resources for use by individuals and organisations.
Bright Now is a campaign run by Operation Noah, a Christian charity working with the Church to inspire action on the climate crisis. Bright Now is calling for divestment (disinvestment) from fossil fuels and focus specifically on churches in the UK. They have resources and information to help churches in this process.
Historic England offers a plethora of advice and information relevant to churches and older buildings.
The National Churches Trust offers advice about building maintenance including environmental sustainability.
Schools and education
Our Planet is an excellent resource from Norwich Diocese providing teachers with background information on Christian teaching about the world and providing useful resources to use in collective worship and religious education.
Blackburn Diocese share all about their inspirational Forest Church, a unique collaboration between Balderstone St Leonards church and the Board of Education.
Regional groups can celebrate creation and achievements within their geographical area by sharing news on websites, social media and via other means of communication. They may also hold special events or engage with national events such as the Season of Creation and Great Big Green Week.