Eco Diocese

25th March 2021

Eco Church and Eco Diocese are accreditation schemes run by A Rocha UK to recognise churches and dioceses which have taken action on caring for the environment.

You may remember that Birmingham was the third diocese to gain Eco Diocese Bronze level accreditation back in November 2018. Then in December 2019 we were one of three dioceses applying for the first Silver level accreditation. But in response A Rocha UK decided to move the goal posts!!!  The revised criteria for a Silver award have just been published and they are much more demanding.

Birmingham is well on track with many of the actions required for Silver. Our net zero Diocesan Synod resolution of November 2019, and our establishment of an Environmental Board put us in a good place. There is still plenty to do, but it is eminently do-able!  And, like everything else, the biggest contribution is down to the parishes!  We need lots and lots of churches to engage with Eco Church and to gain awards.  Have a look at this table:

 

 

Churches:

Eco Diocese

Bronze Criteria (%)

Eco Diocese

Old Silver Criteria (%)

Eco Diocese

New Silver Criteria (%)

Number of Birmingham Churches Required

Number of Birmingham Churches at 1/3/21

Registered

10

20

40

73

62

Bronze Award or higher

5

10

30

55

28

Silver Award or higher

-

-

10

19

6

Gold level

-

-

-

-

-

                                                                                                                                               Assumes 182 churches in Diocese of Birmingham

As you can see, we need 11 more churches to register with Eco Church, 27 more churches to obtain bronze level award and 13 churches to obtain a silver award. It's quite a challenge!

So could your church move forward with Eco Church? Could you get a Bronze Award? You can see how Eco Church works here. If your church is not yet registered, then getting registered is an easy win!  And if your church is already registered then it is probably easier than you think to get to Bronze.

Did you know that the BACA (Birmingham Anglican Climate Action) Group provides lots of advice and support to churches working on Eco Church?  It is all done on a voluntary basis so why not contact Beryl Moppett and ask for some help?   Alternatively register for the four session Zoom based course starting 19 April.  As Bishop’s Adviser I am hugely grateful for BACA’s enthusiasm and commitment steering us forward on our Eco Diocese journey.

Eco Church and Eco Diocese provide a great framework for taking forward our environmental actions. Let’s make the most of them. And if we happen to be the first diocese to get a Silver award…well wouldn’t that be fab!

Patrick Gerard
Bishop’s Adviser for the Environment