St George’s in Nailsworth is working toward its Bronze Eco Church Award. Environment lead, Daphne Tomlinson, shares her experience of working through the process.
Daphne Tomlinson, 73, is the environment representative at St George’s and has been supporting the church with the Eco Church scheme to help it achieve its first award.
“Ever since I was a child, I have been aware of our impact on the planet and I’ve been interested in the environment. I registered the church with the Eco Church scheme and we are working to achieve our Bronze Award.
“I’ve found the whole process so far really very straightforward and not difficult at all, and would recommend it to any church thinking about registering. We found we were already doing many of the things on the list, such as recycling, and have made some small changes to meet other criteria, such as adding planters outside the church and introducing eco tips to the church newsletter. At Harvest Festival last year, local grocers brought in produce, and we grow tomatoes and beans in the church toddler group.”
Daphne also runs a Fairtrade stall at the church, selling chocolate, tea and coffee and raising awareness of the impact of the environment. The proceeds from the stall are to be shared between two environmental charities.
“Part of the Eco Church scheme is to support a local and overseas charity. Following some research, we chose the Project Beaver Appeal by the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust – a new initiative to introduce beavers back into Gloucestershire in the hope of reversing the decline of the local wildlife, restore wetland ecosystems and help to combat the effects of climate change. For our overseas charity, we chose Practical Action, whose work includes helping farmers who have been impacted by climate change. I hope to invite representatives from both charities to speak at our church later in the year.”
Daphne has also attended one of the Eco Church workshops run by Cate Williams, Environmental Engagement Officer, and found it encouraging.
“I found the workshop really interesting. There was a positive vibe that made me feel enthusiastic about taking our church through the Eco Church scheme, as we have not done something like this before. It was nice to meet so many people who were doing quite a lot in their areas and I made some new contacts which I’m sure will be useful. Having an intuitive Eco Church system and the support of the Diocese makes this so much easier to manage.”
The Revd Caroline Bland, vicar for the Nailsworth Benefice, says, “It is with thanks to Daphne’s lead that we are now taking the journey and working toward a Bronze Award. St George’s is working together with a great awareness of Christ’s love for all creation and the need to look after God’s world. The Eco Church award scheme is helping us to focus on the next steps needed to move forward with our care for all creation.”
As a Diocese, we are working towards our Eco Diocese Silver Award, and to achieve this we need 29 more churches to register, and 57 more Bronze and 21 more Silver Awards to be awarded. To find out more about registering your church for Eco Church scheme, please visit: Eco Church in an hour