Summerbridge Methodist Church
A place of worship with its congregation.
Focus: To achieve an A Rocha ECO Gold award
Determined to do our bit for the environment and instil the belief that we are stewards of God's creation into all aspects of our lives, we signed up to the A Rocha ECO Church scheme, and in just a couple of years achieved their Gold Award.
The ECO Church scheme looks at worship and teaching, buildings, land, community and global engagement and lifestyle.
Achieving an award is not just about installing low energy equipment, improving insulation and upgrading buildings, although we did these things and more; nor is it for the short time we are in our place of worship. It is about the whole way in which we lead our lives and the belief that everything we do, no matter how small, can make a difference.
Bringing the majority of the church members on board was an important focus for us, so that everything we did had our effect on the environment at its heart. We encouraged all church members to look at how the decisions they made in their everyday lives could impact the local, national and global environment.
Young church was enthusiastic to be involved and, through their efforts the small ‘garden’ area around the church was made into an area where plants and wildlife could flourish. We will soon be planting trees to further increase the greening of the church site.
Social events now have a much higher vegetarian offering than before, and the old plastic utensils are a thing of the past. We have an extensive, community accessible, recycling scheme, linked to the TerraCycle programme, which now includes accepting medicine blister packs for recycling.
Regular services are held to both celebrate glory of the earth and to guide our actions, and to highlight how we can improve the conditions, for those suffering the worst effects of the climate emergency, and all life on earth. Members are also asked to become involved in campaigns to demand action on the climate and against unwelcome developments.
The whole ethos of the church has been turned into one which recognises that we are all responsible through our actions, and although governments must empower major initiatives, we can all make small changes, and use our voices, to communally make a difference.
Find out more about how we achieved our Gold Award here