At the 2016 General Assembly, the United Reformed Church (URC) commended the Eco Church award scheme within the context of its new Environmental Policy, which was updated in 2019.

The URC has sinced worked with A Rocha UK to develop Eco Synod as a tool by which Synods can encourage local churches to engage in wider creation care.(1)

The Eco Synod Award is a development of Eco Church whereby a URC Synod can register its interest in and work towards an award. The two awards are designed to complement each other, encouraging both Synod-level and local church-level engagement with Eco Church.

Eco Synod status will be given to your Synod when it has:

  • Registered its intent to become an Eco Synod

    Please register using the form here.

  • Commissioned an individual or group to coordinate progress within the Synod

    To coordinate progress within the Synod.

  • Written an environmental policy

    That has been agreed by the Synod meeting. This should include points on travel, the environmental maintenance of its manses (where appropriate) and a commitment to reducing Synod carbon emissions (taking into account the recommendations contained within the 2019 updated URC Environmental Policy). Examples are available here.

  • Gained the appropriate levels of local church registrations and Awards for Eco Church

    • Bronze Eco Synod: 10% of local churches registered; 5% of local churches awarded
    • Silver Eco Synod: 20% of local churches registered; 10% of local churches awarded
    • Gold Eco Synod: 30% of local churches registered; 20% of local churches awarded

  • Achieve the relevant award for Synod House / Office (where appropriate) and land (where appropriate)

    For its Synod offices (where appropriate) and land (where appropriate)

  • Embedded environmental issues in ongoing training

    Having sought to ensure that environmental issues are integrated within the discipleship development provision of the Synod, including continuing ministerial education.

  • Managed Synod investments ethically

    With due consideration of the environmental implications of those investments, taking into account the 2019 updated URC’s Ethical Investment Guidelines on Climate Change Issues.

  • Worked with other Synods and or faith groups

    To encourage greater environmental action, including promoting Eco Church as a helpful tool

  • Established the habit of recording and celebrating individual environmental initiatives

    Established the habit of recording and celebrating individual environmental initiatives

Registered Synods

North Western
East Midlands
Bronze Award West Midlands
South Western
Thames North
Synod of Wales

To register your intent to work towards Eco Synod status, please complete the online registration form here. After completing the registration process you will receive two copies of a letter outlining your commitment to work towards Eco Synod status. Both copies should be signed by your Synod Moderator and Synod Clerk, and then one copy returned to the Eco Church office and the other retained for display in the Synod office.

When your Synod has fulfilled these criteria (check list here), you can apply for your Eco Synod Award by completing the application form here.

If you have any questions about Eco Synod please contact us.

1. For the latest URC environmental news and updates do refer to the URC’s Caring for Creation web page here