St John’s Church, Hale, has received a Bronze Eco Church award in recognition of both its commitment to reducing its carbon emissions and of its encouragement of local wildlife.
The church uses renewable gas and electricity and has installed swift boxes on the side of the church to encourage swifts to nest. Swifts have suffered a dramatic decline of 50 per cent in the last 20 years, in large part because of a lack of nesting places, and boxes such as those at St John’s and its sister church St George’s in Badshot Lea, are being used to encourage the birds to breed.
The Revd Lesley Crawley from the parish said:
"We are delighted to have received this award for St John’s which means that all three churches in the parish now have the bronze award. The world is in environmental crisis as global temperatures and sea levels continue to rise and species numbers decline. Only this week the Met Office has warned that summers could be five degrees hotter in the UK by 2070, with summer rainfall decreasing and sea levels rising. It is up to all of us to do something if we are to save our planet."
Eco Church is run by A Rocha UK, a Christian charity working for the protection and restoration of the natural world. The Eco Church award scheme encourages churches in England and Wales to look at how they express their care for the world in worship and teaching; in looking after buildings and land; in engaging in both the local community and global campaigns, and in the personal lifestyles of the congregation.
There are three levels of award - bronze, silver and gold - and all three churches in the parish are now working towards gaining silver.
Find out more about Eco Church, including useful resources to help along the journey, and sign up to be an Eco Church online now.