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 2016 was closely followed by the launch of the Eco Diocese, an initiative to encourage diocesan-level engagement with Eco Church, and promote local church participation in the scheme.
It is now clear that the Eco Diocese scheme has been invaluable in accelerating the take up of Eco Church at the grass roots level. In just five years, we’ve seen over 3,400 churches in Wales and England register for Eco Church – well beyond our expectations. Eco Church is now likely to reach its original ten-year target (of 4,400 churches in England and Wales) at least three years early (by 2023).
The news comes in a critical year for the climate, ahead of the UN COP26 climate negotiations scheduled to take place in Glasgow in November later this year.
A Rocha UK believes that Eco Church can help bring about a step change in Christian action on the environment. Andy Atkins, CEO of A Rocha UK said: “In a year of major opportunity for positive change, the need for churches to stand up for the environment right now cannot be understated. From small rural parishes to cathedrals, many churches across the UK are now certified as Bronze, Silver or Gold Eco Churches. The work that they carry out to receive their certificate – and their actions well beyond achieving their award – not only have a positive environmental impact but often involve and benefit the community around them. In Eco Church’s sixth year, we’d love to see even more churches making a difference and having a bigger impact together in response to the environmental and biodiversity crises.”
Eco Church is a free online award scheme and is an A Rocha UK project, in partnership with Christian Aid, The Church of England, The Methodist Church, Allchurches Trust, The United Reformed Church and Tearfund. In the scheme’s sixth year, we are encouraging more churches to join the Eco church community. Churches can do so by registering at https://ecochurch.arocha.org.uk/ and completing a simple survey.