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Eco Church Journey; All Saints, Horsford

Our Eco Church journey started in early 2022 after seeing and reading about the outcomes and objectives of the COP26 conference in November 2021. In line with this Bishop Graham started a campaign of awareness surrounding our effect on the environment and a new Environmental policy was approved by Diocesan Synod.

Following the Diocese’s vision, the Revd Margaret asked if any of the congregation would be interested in joining an Eco Group to devise an Environmental policy for our Benefice, and three of us volunteered; Ordinand Liz Dawes, Brian Rowlands, Church Warden for Felthorpe, and Isobel Saunders, Church Warden for Horsford. We’d all already taken steps in our personal lives to “tread more gently” on the earth and it was great to be offered an opportunity to do something similar in our church community.

The biggest challenge was getting started, and bringing together all our ideas into one Eco Policy Strategy that we could present to the 3 PCCs for approval. We all wanted to jump straight in and start making changes, but if we are to make long-term and sustainable choices across the Benefice, the Ministry team and congregations needed to be involved and ready to support them! Slowly but surely we have had more people express interest and offer their time to be involved in community events, like holding uniform bank open mornings for Horsford Primary school and sourcing fair trade and eco-friendly consumables for use in our church buildings.

Two easy wins are;

  • Raise awareness in sermons and newsletters about eco events going on, such as Great Big Green week, World Environment day and Fairtrade Fortnight, which may then inspire the congregation to get involved or make changes in their own households
  • Look to the churchyard. It doesn’t take much effort to allow a quiet corner to grow undisturbed, which will allow biodiversity to increase and attract a wider range of birds and insects to your church

We would encourage all churches to join this scheme. There isn’t a time limit on how long it takes to achieve the awards, and the A Rocha website has some good hints and tips on different areas that you can focus on within the life of the church to make a difference to the impact that it has on the environment. Doesn’t matter how small you start, every positive action taken helps!

One final piece of advice; don’t be disheartened by slow progress! Once you commit to making changes you need to have faith that the journey will gather momentum with each step you take, even if they are smaller than you would like!

Looking back over our own journey in 2022 achieving the Bronze award seemed a long way off, but by implementing small changes like sourcing fair-trade refreshments, using compostable cups, and adding in special services like a walk and picnic for Rogation Sunday to acknowledge our stewardship of creation, we have managed to apply and successfully achieve for the Award in Horsford before our self-imposed deadline of December 2023.

Now we just need to look to the requirements for the Silver…


Thank you All Saint’s for sharing your story with us! If you’d like to find out how you and your church can work towards engaging with the environment, getting an Eco Award, and achieving Carbon Net Zero visit our Environment page here.