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Eco Church Open Evening

fairtrade refreshmentsthe worship and teaching displaycaroline points out our ecofriendly lighting

Representatives from churches across our district and ecumenical partners gathered at St Andrew's Psalter Lane LEP (SAPLC) for our first Eco Church Open Evening. SAPLC were early adopters of what began as the Eco Congregation movement. Their members shared their journey, learning and challenges of becoming one of just 28 Methodist churches and LEPs to have reached the Silver Award stage thus far.

Information was provided about each of the strands the Eco Church framework, what these involved, and advice shared on how to make progress:

  • Worship and teaching – ways of embedding good stewardship of God's planet in our rhythm of worship, prayer and teaching
  • Management of church buildings – understanding and measuring the carbon footprint of our premises, and taking practical steps to reduce it
  • Management of church land – influencing use of land around your building to increase biodiversity or engagement with nature
  • Community and global engagement – engaging with your neighbourhood, elected representatives and international social justice
  • Lifestyle – we are still a Christian community at the times when we are not gathered. How to support congregations in managing the environmental impact of their lives

Some participants were new to Eco Church, others already engaged and looking to take a next step. People came from churches of all sizes, and across a broad theological spectrum. We expect to have many stories of new Eco Church awards across our district in the coming months.

Our friends from Cemetery Road Baptists' also had a display showing all they do to help tackle climate change.

Gareth Jones, minister of St Andrew's Psalter Lane Church, said "There were many encouraging conversations, with people recognising positive steps that their church could take. At a time when it is easy for churches to look inwards, it was good to come together and share experiences and ideas."

Clare Loughridge who is a member of the Eco Church working group at St Andrew's Psalter Lane Church said: "As a church that is already quite far along in the Eco Church 'journey', it was really encouraging to see so many people starting out and to feel that we were able to offer help and support from our own experiences, and to point them in the direction of the many resources that are available to them."

Neil Harland, Mission Development Support Worker, said "I encourage every church to explore the Eco Church scheme. Being agents of God's kingdom during a climate crisis makes care for creation an essential part of being fit for mission. Your district is standing ready to provide technical support and celebrate your innovation."

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