Royston Methodist Church is pleased to announce that it has been awarded the Bronze Award for Eco Churches organised by A Rocha. This has meant months of form filling and fulfilling criteria so that we could enter for the award.
The awards are designed to equip our church to express our care for God’s world in our worship and teaching; in how we look after our buildings and land; in how we engage with our local community and in global campaigns, and in the personal lifestyles of our congregation. The actions we took counted towards a prestigious Eco Church Award at Bronze level. We had to complete the A Rocha Eco Survey to gauge where our church currently is in relation to the three different levels and, with a bit of tweaking and introducing some new actions, we were successful in our application for the Bronze level award.
Each category had a series of questions to answer ranging from including Special Sundays and using hymns and songs to celebrate God’s creation; our newsletter/notices/church Inform Magazine including items relating to God’s earth under the category of Worship and Teaching. Each week there is a section in our church notices on how we can make a difference by accepting a different challenge week by week. In the second area we were asked to look at our church building and this included installing a water butt, using environmentally friendly products, using recycled paper and providing cycle racks. The third category was Land which was probably the hardest section to gain points as we don’t have sufficient land for some of the schemes suggested. However, we have installed bird feeders and we will be encouraging wildlife and planting wild flowers to attract the birds, bees and butterflies including the future installation of a bug hotel.
The next section involved Community and Global Engagement where we set up regular monthly litter picks in the local area and we already have our toilets twinned and we are already a Fairtrade Church as well as using Fairtrade products and using locally sourced, organic, animal-friendly food where possible when providing meals in church. The final section covered Lifestyle which asked us to use a car share scheme, to use a communal Christmas card, to use Fairtrade goods, all of which we already have in place; invite church members to take a carbon footprint audit and to provide practical lifestyle tips in our church newsletter and on the church website.
This is not the exhaustive list but it gives you a flavour of the areas we needed to provide in order to gain this bronze award. We will be discussing what we need to do in order to gain the silver award in the weeks ahead.
Member of Royston Methodist Church’s Climate Action Now group