Guildford has become the second diocese to receive an Eco Diocese award from A Rocha UK two months after launching a push to become an Eco Diocese.
The bronze award is a demonstration of the Diocese’s commitment to caring for God’s earth in five key areas of church life: worship and teaching, management of church buildings, management of church land, community/global engagement and lifestyle.
Eco Diocese, a diocesan focussed version of the Eco Church initiative from A Rocha UK, is an award scheme designed to celebrate and recognise dioceses caring for God’s creation. In order to become recognised as a Bronze awarded Eco Diocese 10% of local churches need to be registered as an Eco Church and 5% of churches within the diocese need to be awarded a bronze or above level.
Revd Dr Lesley Crawley, Diocesan Environmental Adviser, said:
"As a diocese, we encourage our churches to become Eco Churches because the scheme is very simple, encouraging and effective. Those of us in parishes find we have many competing demands for our time, but Eco Church is so straightforward that even in the busyness it enables us to make tangible steps to be greener.
“This work helps us as disciples to care for God's creation and love our neighbours as ourselves; neighbours who may live in poorer parts of the world, heavily affected by climate change and neighbours who may not yet be born, as we do not want them to grow up in an impoverished world."
Commenting on the award, the Bishop of Guildford, Andrew Watson, said:
“I’m delighted that Guildford has become the second diocese to receive an Eco Diocese bronze award, as we seek to respond to God’s call to ‘safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the earth’.
“Climate change remains one of the greatest challenges of our generation, and it’s been great to see churches getting on board with the Eco Church movement as a very practical step towards reducing their carbon footprints. The bronze award is only the beginning, of course, and I’d strongly encourage other dioceses to follow suit!”
Andy Atkins, CEO of A Rocha UK said:
"We congratulate Guildford for becoming an Eco Diocese – a great demonstration of its commitment to care for God's earth. Sometimes people wonder if the small things they are able to achieve in their church will make a difference, but gaining Eco Diocese status is proof that all of those little acts add up to much greater impact and real hope."
Helen Stephens, Church Relations Manager at A Rocha UK, said:
"It's wonderful news that Guildford Diocese are the recipients of the second Eco Diocese Award. We know that behind this amazing achievement is a huge amount of hard work. The individuals, churches and environmental teams in each awarded diocese have worked tirelessly - often for a number of years - to ensure that the church is setting a fantastic standard of caring for God's earth".
Could your church become an Eco Church? Find out more about the scheme along with some resources to help with your eco journey.