The Parishes of Great Ayton & Newton under Roseberry

Eco Church

We are delighted to have been given a Bronze Eco-Church Award.

This page begins with some of the steps we have taken as we become more environmentally aware. It continues with some background information on the national Eco Church movement.

March 2021: Litter picking along A172

March 2021: ‘Caring for Creation’ Ecumenical Lent Course on Zoom

March 2021: York Diocese registered as an Eco Diocese

March 2020: Ivy clearing around graves in All Saints Churchyard

February 2021: Tree planting with Climate Action Stokesley & Villages

February 2021: Land Management Plan approved by the PCC

December 2020: Professional Biodiversity input from Kelly Harmar

November 2020: Contract for 100% Green electricity from Swalec was signed

October 2020: Christ Church registered as an Eco Church and initial survey completed by the Steering Group

September 2020: Eco Church Steering Group formed as a subgroup of the PCC

September 2020: "Earth, Water, Wind & Fire" themes for Prayer for the Day during the Season of Creation

February 2020: Bike Racks installed 


Eco Church: Everything You Need To Know
A Rocha UK shares the same five core values as all the other national A Rocha organisations around the world:
Underlying all we do is our biblical faith in the living God, who made the world, loves it and entrusts it to the care of human society.
We carry out research for the conservation and restoration of the natural world and run environmental education programmes for people of all ages.
Through our commitment to God, each other and the wider creation, we aim to develop good relationships both within the A Rocha family and in our local communities.
We draw on the insights and skills of people from diverse cultures, both locally and around the world.
We work in partnership with a wide variety of organisations and individuals who share our concerns for a sustainable world.
Since its beginnings in 2001, A Rocha UK has been practically involved in nature conservation. Our first major nature conservation initiative was the transformation of a derelict and degraded plot of land in the London Borough of Hillingdon into Minet Country Park. Following on from the success of Minet, A Rocha UK is now engaged in another urban conservation initiative at a small site in Norwood Green known as ‘Wolf Fields’. Having long been abandoned to fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour, Wolf Fields is now being transformed by A Rocha UK, working in partnership with the local community, into a multi-purpose wildlife area including: a native fruit orchard, a sensory garden with local wild flowers, organic food growing allotments, bee hives, a small woodland for birds, and new paths to increase accessibility.

So, how does Eco Church work?
At the heart of Eco Church is a unique, online survey that enables churches to both record what they are already doing to care for God’s earth, and to reflect on what further steps they can take to that end and then act accordingly.

The survey covers all areas of church life: Worship and Teaching; Management of Church Buildings and Land; Community and Global Engagement; and Lifestyle. As such, it challenges churches to act in respect of the songs they sing and of the food they serve; of the energy they use and of the ethics of their investments; of the wildlife that finds a home on their land and of the water that flushes their loos; and so on…
Accompanying the survey is a whole new suite of online resources to help churches undertake the actions recommended in each of the five areas covered by the survey. These include: sermon outlines; youth materials; guides on food co-operatives and looking after church land in wildlife-friendly ways; and a lifestyle audit, to name but a few.

The Eco Survey is freely available to all visitors to the Eco Church website; however, in order to save their responses, churches will need to register on the website. Having created an account, they can then login on subsequent occasions to update their survey responses as they undertake new actions and initiatives by way of caring for creation.

As a church completes the survey they collect points towards an Eco Church Award. There are three levels of Eco Church Award – Bronze, Silver and Gold. In order to qualify for an Award churches must attain the required standard in each of the areas covered by the Eco Survey that apply to them (we recognise that some churches do not have buildings or land). Churches can see when they have gained sufficient points in each Eco Survey category by looking at the points gauges that appear on screen with the Eco Survey questions. The gauges will change colour as their points accumulate to reflect the level of Award they have achieved.

If all the relevant gauges turn bronze, the church has achieved a Bronze Award; if they all turn silver they have achieved a Silver Award, and so on. However, if just some of the gauges turn silver while the others turn bronze, for example, the church would have achieved a Bronze Award (rather than a Silver Award) because that is the level they have achieved in all the relevant areas. In this way, the scheme encourages churches to take action to care for creation across every aspect of their life together rather than just focussing on one area at the expense of all others.
Churches apply for their Award by downloading and completing the Award Application Form from the Eco Church website. For Bronze and Silver Awards we will require confirmation from the church leader that they have seen and approved the Eco Survey responses provided on behalf of their church. Additionally, for Gold Awards we will arrange for an Eco Church Assessor to visit the church to see and hear for themselves of all that’s been going on by way caring for God’s earth across the areas covered by the Eco Survey.

Award-winning churches will receive a certificate to mark their achievement and will have the option of purchasing (at cost) an Award plaque to display on their premises fashioned, appropriately enough, from recycled church pews at an Edinburgh-based community project.
A Rocha UK is delighted to provide Eco Church completely free of charge to churches in England and Wales, but we will be very grateful for donations from participating churches to help us keep it that way!

The very first Eco Church Award – a Bronze – was presented to St Paul’s Cathedral by Rowan Williams at the launch event. They were followed, very soon afterwards, by Lyme Regis Baptist Church and then by York Minster, and then by Collier Row Methodist Church in Romford, all of whom also gained Bronze Awards. 

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