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Silver Eco Award for St Anne’s Church in Bewdley

Published: 18th April 2023

Bishop Martin presenting the Eco Church awardBishop Martin recently visited St Anne’s Church in Bewdley where he was able to present the church its silver Eco Church Award! 

St Anne’s has an Ecology Justice Group which meets monthly to discuss a whole range of issues linked to caring for God’s creation and they achieved their Silver award just eight months after receiving Bronze.

Chair of the group, Robert Barbour, said: “In 2021 we held an online Lent course following USPG’s materials on climate and the environment. 27 people attended and at the end of Lent, they wanted to continue to meet to look at local, national and international environmental issues. After completing our bronze award, we looked at where our weaknesses were and what gaps we needed to fill to achieve silver and as a group we’ve worked towards it.”

The church holds an annual service on an Eco theme during Creation Season in September and last year included information and advice so congregation members could audit their own actions and respond practically.

“We pray regularly about climate issues, but felt it was important to enable a wider range of people to work out what steps they could take. Achieving silver has been a real joint effort, with our Eco group, the wider congregation and also our church building group, which has ensured we have insulation in the roof space and are using eco-friendly lights as far as possible. Our longstanding work with Traidcraft has also been relevant with their ethical, organic and climate friendly approach – we have been a regional hub for them for 35 years!”

St Anne’s Church is in the centre of Bewdley, surrounded by roads, so did struggle to be able to improve the space outside of the church. “We have installed some flower tubs, but our main work has been to partner with Ribbesford Church, where they are working with Worcester Wildlife on an environmental plan to increase biodiversity in their churchyard. A group from St Anne’s is helping with this project and we could use it in our silver award application.”

The Ecology Justice group is now considering how it might work towards gold. Robert said: “It’s going to be a challenge, but people are keen to keep going and see what we can do next. We are already linking with other groups and have planned a joint meet with Bewdley Baptist Church to look at ideas for how Bewdley’s traffic might be managed more sustainably. I would definitely encourage other churches to put together a group to focus on Eco Church and starting with a Lent course or similar helps to embed it in the biblical imperative. Doing nothing is definitely not an option anymore – we each need to make a difference, no matter how small our actions may seem.”

 

Page last updated: Tuesday 18th April 2023 9:05 AM

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