Congratulations to Trinity Cheltenham for obtaining their Eco Church Silver Award after a three-year-long ‘eco’ journey led by their Operations Manager, Marion David.
Marion says, ‘Within our church environmental team, we are very clear that our calling goes beyond promoting flora and fauna, which of course in itself is important. It’s about a fundamental transformation in our heart of how seriously we take God’s calling for stewardship for His creation and how it’s ultimately all about social justice.
“Our church green journey has its unique challenges, due to its city centre location and the age of our church building, but also unique opportunities because of the size of our church family and therefore how far-reaching any positive changes or initiatives that we make could have on our local community and beyond.”
Marion explains that Creation Care is now a standing agenda item on the PCC meetings, and all events and activities’ risk assessments have a section asking the organisers to think about the impact of their activity on the environment, and how those can be mitigated.
The church has also taken the opportunity to meet up, share knowledge and encourage others with environmental groups from churches in Cheltenham across all denominations, and local actors such as Cheltenham Borough Council, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and Cheltenham Zero, a partnership of local organisations working together to achieve net zero carbon emissions in Cheltenham by 2030.
When it comes to buildings management, Marion has been encouraged by the guidance provided through the Church of England Environmental Programme and Net Zero Carbon 2030 target, with a user-friendly checklist, and the support of the Energy Footprint Tool to allow each church community to measure its direct CO2 emission.
Marion says, “For anyone in the Diocese making their first eco-step, can I really encourage you to make contact with the Revd Cate Williams, our Diocese Environmental Engagement Officer, who is a fantastic font of knowledge and can link you up locally with other churches going through the same journey.”
We are calling on all worshipping communities, to be the change, and take part in our #EcoChurchInAnHour campaign. Sign up today, and you never know, you might already be well on your way to your first Eco Church Award.