Cwmbran URC began working on becoming an Eco Church back in 2019, but then along came the pandemic and it got pushed to the back of our minds.
However, we picked it up again in the autumn of 2022 and are so pleased to have gained our Bronze Award.
Working through the questions can be daunting. Some are easier than others, especially around worship and teaching, whereas you get on to buildings and land and they can become more onerous and a bit more research is sometimes required – do you know what energy rating your boiler has or how many of your light bulbs are low energy? Having said that, finding out these can be fun and interesting, and it makes you realise how easy some changes can be.
When it comes to community and global engagement again there are simple things to do like being a Fairtrade Church and twinning your toilet, and lifestyle options like sharing lifts or having a bike rack.
For me, the best part was the whole process made me stop and think, not only what we do as a church, but also what I do as an individual, and how that impacts on our changing climate.
If I’m honest, I’m not sure whether we’ll be able to progress to a Silver Award; having a listed building, as many do, does make life a little trickier. But the idea of going further is an incentive so who knows what will happen next.
I would certainly encourage churches to register with A Rocha Eco Church, look at their website which has lots of hints and tips, and of course the more churches that register and work towards awards, the closer the Synod gets to becoming an Eco Synod.
Thanks to Revd Branwen Rees