Over the last few years there has been a growing engagement with climate change in church circles, including the Pope’s intervention and the church getting involved in divestment. 2016 has started strongly too, with two initiatives looking to mobilise UK churches in climate action.
The first is Eco Church, which is an award scheme for churches reducing their footprints. Reminiscent of the Eco Schools programme, churches take a survey that looks at their environmental credentials across a range of areas – from energy use to land and buildings, to teaching and lifestyle. They can qualify for a bronze, silver or gold award, and work towards higher levels.
Eco Church is a project from A Rocha, the Christian conservation agency, in partnership with the Church of England and others. If you’d like to get your church involved, you can check out the details of how the scheme works and register your interest online. (If you’re in Scotland, see Eco Congregation)
Secondly, tomorrow sees the launch of The Big Church Switch, a project from Christian Aid and Tearfund. Churches and their congregations can sign up with the scheme, and use their collective buying power to secure a good deal on green energy. It’s a way for Christians to show a commitment to earth stewardship and climate justice, and a way to send a signal to government at the same time.
Has your church or faith community switched to a renewable energy provider? If not, now is a good time to take that step. You’ll be able to find out more tomorrow at BigChurchSwitch.org.uk.