Bronze award pursued

Published on: 14 December 2021

St Mary’s Church, Kelling, is a Grade II listed building set in a large churchyard in an area of outstanding natural beauty on the North Norfolk coast.

Walking among the wildflowers, watching dragonflies hover, mindful of the hen pheasant who is protecting her young in the undergrowth, it takes a consciously prolonged blink to focus on the reality of a global crisis.

Three years ago, I came across Katharine Hayhoe’s 2017 John Stott Lecture – an extraordinary breath of optimism – sponsored by A Rocha, the international organization responsible for Eco Church.

At our next PCC meeting we looked at the survey and felt that, over the decades, numerous challenges had been achieved. Encouraged, we decided to pursue a bronze award. Mostly we had to explore the last two of the five categories – Community and Global Engagement and Lifestyle. So, for instance, we undertook a Plastic Challenge for Lent and later, an Eco Quiz – with the first prize being a vegan meal which no one much wanted to win! The most inspiring aspect of Eco Church is the structure it gives for conversations – from the trickier challenges such as ‘a commitment to ethical investment’ and ‘engagement with local leaders’, to practical issues such as – is it okay to use oasis? A silver award will be tougher, and we have taken a short break to re-clad the roof.

In the meantime, with hymns and sermons, and intercessions, we are managing to maintain gold in the Worship and Teaching category.

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