In June, St Peter’s Leckhampton marked a key stage in their Eco Church journey when they were awarded the Eco Church Silver Award by A Rocha. Richard Kerr-Wilson, a member of the PCC, tells us more about how this award was achieved and what their plans are with going for Gold.
“We have a small committee of around five people who meet every six months to go through the Eco Church questions. We have been greatly assisted in this process by the parish administrator, Liz Johnson, in putting the information on the website and the weekly pew sheet, as well as adding some tips of her own.
“Achieving a Bronze Award was not too difficult, as we seemed to be doing most of the requirements already. However, Silver has required some extra activities, particularly in the Community and Global Engagement category.
“Early on, before applying for Silver, we started an Eco Church area on the St Peter’s church website and included weekly ‘green’ comments in the pew sheet. We also have an enthusiastic botanist on our committee, who conducted a survey of all the plants in the churchyard, which have been listed on the website.
Richard goes on to explain how they worked towards their Silver Award and that many of the tasks were relatively quick and simple to do: “We allowed an area of the churchyard to go wild and marked this off with a notice to explain what we are doing. This area includes some orchids, but the excessively dry weather recently has restricted much of the other growth. The PCC also agreed to support the World Land Trust as part of our global commitment, and locally we helped plant trees and plants around the pond in Burrow’s field, which is being renovated by Leckhampton Rovers. We also added an eco area on one of the church noticeboards.
The church is now working towards its Gold Award. The Revd Gary Grady adds, “We have changed our suppliers so that they are green and recycled, this includes all office supplies and kitchen/cleaning materials. We are also greening our preaching, so that we regularly focus on the message in scripture to uphold and be good stewards of God’s creation. Our flower guild are locally sourcing flowers, so that we avoid offering, for example, delphiniums in December (which would come from Africa) and other carbon-related air-miles.”
Richard says: “For the future, our gas-fired boiler has recently expired, so out of necessity, we will be replacing it with under-pew electric heating. We have also had a quote for installing solar panels on the roof of the church cottages.
“Individual members of the congregation have been following green guidelines enthusiastically, as was shown by a recent questionnaire, but we will have more work to do as a community to achieve Gold.”
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