Worplesdon Parish Churches – Eco Church Award

The churches of St Mary’s and St Alban’s in Worplesdon are celebrating after each gained a Bronze Eco Church award. The church community used some new ideas, alongside some well-established ones, to reach their goal for environmental sustainability.

Revd Alex Russell, Rector for Worplesdon Parish said, “We’ve made the Eco Church initiative part of our plans to develop the church in our parish, using it to develop our commitment to good stewardship of God’s creation.  One thing we’ve found is that people who don’t normally come to church are interested and encouraged that we care about the environment as much as they do.”

Robert Lynch is the eco-team lead at the church and explained that when they first began their Eco Church journey, the team was surprised how many of the requirements they were already doing.

It was quite easy to tick off some things, particularly in the worship section, as there were readings and prayers we regularly used to talk about our care for creation” said Robert, adding that “In other areas we looked to involve all our followers. By involving both church-goers and the wider community in our eco-church work we hope to send a clear message that the church is serious about caring for the environment.

St Mary’s and St Alban’s quick wins for the bronze award included:

  • Sharing information and tips on energy-saving
  • Including environmental issues in the church notices and in the weekly Parish Update email
  • Using recycled toilet roll and environmentally friendly cleaning products
  • Encouraging everyone who follows us to take a carbon footprint survey on the WWF website (why not have a go yourself?)

They also focussed attention on the church grounds where a bird box has been set up and planting has been chosen to encourage pollinators.

St Mary’s and St Alban’s are now determined to keep going and are already thinking about achieving a Silver Eco Church award.

Eco Church is a project run by A Rocha UK in partnership with Churches and Christian charities in Britain.