Eco Church

What is Eco Church?

Eco Church is an initiative run by A Rocha in partnership with the Methodist Church, the Church of England, Tearfund and Christian Aid. It provides resources and guidance to help churches show they care for the environment in their worship and teaching, their management of buildings and land, community and global engagement and individual lifestyles. 

‘Our vision is for churches of all denominations to care for creation as an integral part of loving their neighbours and following God faithfully.’ http://ecochurch.arocha.org.uk/
 

Eco Church at Royal Wootton Bassett Methodist Church

We have registered with Eco Church and are working towards achieving our first award with the scheme.

In the past year we’ve had a range of Eco Church worship services from different preachers on themes from creation to water to ethical food and heard environmental testimonies from several of our members. We had a talk from a local farmer about the benefits of organic food to our wildlife. We’ve enjoyed environmental themed worship songs and prayers throughout the year. We’ve had a vegetarian food and faith lunch to promote a more sustainable diet. Eco Church articles in Crosstalk have covered themes from Lent to gardening for God to going green for Christmas.

Members have expressed their care for the environment in a variety of practical ways at church. These have included obtaining wildflower seeds for the church grounds at Braydon and letting the lawn grow longer there to help our insect life; sorting out the kitchen recycling; planning environmental themed children’s activities; replacing light bulbs with LEDs and commissioning an energy audit of the building. We are now collecting crisp packets for the Terracycle scheme.

Our church has declared a climate emergency!

Our church, as part of the Bristol synod, voted to declare a climate and ecological emergency in May 2019.

The Bristol Synod noted that, ‘the scientific evidence is overwhelmingly pointing to climate breakdown. The cause is clearly human-generated green-house gas emissions, of which a large portion of historical emissions has been from the UK. In the spirit of concern for justice which is at the heart of the Methodist movement – evidenced by campaigns such as those against the slave trade – Synod requests that Conference declares a climate emergency, and

  • Acknowledges that we face an existential threat without precedent, and that this requires actions without precedent

  • Notes the urgency; that the atmosphere already contains more than the safe level of CO2 (350 ppm, compared with the 413 in 2019), and encourages the setting of SMART targets to reduce personal and corporate emissions to limit temperature rises to below 1.5 degrees

  • Expects churches to engage in regular and concerted prayer regarding climate issues

  • Expects ministers and preachers to engage in a fresh effort in discerning a Biblical response to the threat; to communicate it, and to challenge responses that amount to ‘business as usual’

  • Implores all Church members to urgently address their personal impacts in terms of CO2 emissions, noting that for each person, the earth can absorb little more than 2 tons of CO2.

  • Calls on the Government, in response to Parliaments’ own declaration of a climate emergency to urgently review all legislation, taxation and subsidies in 2019, especially with relation to businesses and fossil fuels, to ensure that immediate emission reductions are achieved consistent with the most current peer reviewed science in order to avoid climate breakdown.