Small things making a big difference – how to get started with Eco Church in an Hour

Published: Thursday October 13, 2022

As a diocese, we are committed to being carbon neutral by 2030. We recently visited a church in Cheltenham to learn how the worshipping community there were beginning to tackle the climate crisis, in lots of different ways.

The videos below share the stories of how different people got involved to make a difference using the skills and tools available.

Coping with climate crisis overwhelm

Joel Callow, a member of the worshipping community at Trinity Cheltenham, shares how he combats feelings of being overwhelmed by the scale of the climate crisis. Joel is an engineering consultant whose day job involves advising people on removing carbon emissions from complicated buildings.

Joel said, “If you’re daunted by the scale of the crisis, that’s a very reasonable reaction. I feel that regularly.” Joel speaks to Bishop Robert about what we can all do to help those overwhelming feelings:

Communications

Holly Pratley is an Associate Pastor focusing on communication, engagement and learning; she shares how her faith encourages her to care for our planet, and some of the intricacies of how communication makes a difference for caring for creation:

Energy Footprint Tool

Bishop Robert talks to Beth from the Finance team at Trinity Cheltenham to learn about the EFT; the Energy Footprint Tool. Beth tells us, “Once you’ve got the carbon footprint, the form itself is straightforward.” Bishop Robert says, “So it gives you a range of options and things you might do, that helps us move towards that net carbon zero goal we’re committed to right across the life of our church.” Watch the full discussion below:

Worship

How can worship help us to live out our care for the environment? Bishop Robert speaks to the Revd Andrew Blythe from Trinity Cheltenham about how worship through music and prayer connects to our stewardship of creation. Andrew says, “I love the fact that a lot of the newer, modern songs often start with a focus on God as creator, and get us to think about how we pray and how we live in response.”

Church operations in the day-to-day

Bishop Robert met the Assistant Operations Director at Trinity Cheltenham, Marion David, to talk about how care for the environment runs through everything they do as a church. Marion says, “The Eco Church Survey has been really helpful because it’s helped me to think not just in terms of my buildings and my recycling bins but also anything from teaching to worshipping, and when we worship how many of those songs are actually pointing to God and caring for the environment. A lot of it is also about educating people – our brothers and sisters, our church leadership, and PCC.”

Solar PV panels

Bishop Robert meets Dave to learn how the worshipping community at Trinity has approached the huge task of funding and installing solar panels on the roof:

Caring for creation globally: supporting Kenyan farmers

Bishop Robert speaks to Dave Rowe about his church’s links with north-west Kenya. Dave is involved in Farmer Field Schools, an approach to farming that uses sustainable techniques to help farmers improve their food security and livelihoods.

Each of these approaches count towards a specific part of Trinity’s #EcoChurchInAnHour efforts and is part of the wider work towards Eco Church awards.
Read more on the Trinity Cheltenham website.

As a diocese, we are committed to being carbon neutral by 2030.
Register your church and pledge one hour per week to make your church greener.

Has your church discovered new ways to care for your environment through Eco Church? Do send your stories to or .

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