Shropshire Star

Eco-friendly Shrewsbury church earns plaudits for work looking after god's green earth

A church has earned plaudits for caring for god's green earth.

Mike Streetly, the Shrewsbury United Reformed Church's eco group co-ordinator

Shrewsbury United Reformed Church (SURC) at English Bridge has earned a Silver Award under a national ECO church scheme.

To achieve the award from A Rocha, an international environmental Christian organisation, churches complete a unique online eco survey about how they are caring for god’s earth in different areas of their life and work.

The answers a church provides allow it to collect points towards an Eco Church Award – the more the church does, the more points it gets.

The survey assesses five key areas of church life: worship and teaching, management of church buildings, management of church land, community and global engagement, and lifestyle

SURC was assessed at gold level for worship/teaching and lifestyle and at silver level for the other categories.

The Gold categories reflect the recent focus by the church and its eco group on helping everyone in the congregation to work towards a net zero lifestyle through the establishment of a Carbon Weightwatchers group. This organises an ongoing series of talks, workshops and shared meals to encourage members to share ideas and experiences on how to reduce carbon emissions in their everyday lives.

Reverends Mark Rodgers and Camilla Veitch said in a joint statement: “Since we arrived as ministers for Shrewsbury United Reformed Church we have been impressed with the importance which the congregation places on eco matters and caring for god’s creation.

"This care is seen in practical ways ranging from having recycling stations throughout the building (including packaging that is difficult to recycle elsewhere!) to hosting the weekly Food Share distributions on Saturday mornings.

"It is great to see the passion and commitment from church members to continue to raise awareness and make an impact for the good of god’s earth. The congregation are proud to have been registered as an Eco congregation since 2003 and rightly so!“

Mike Streetly, co-ordinator of the church’s eco group said: "We’re really pleased with this latest award which reflects the hard work that members of the church have put in to reducing our environmental impact over the last 20 years since we were first recognised as an eco congregation.

"Whilst it’s great to receive this award, we can’t rest on our laurels. One area that we will be focussing on this year is trying to become a beacon of encouragement for everyone around us to engage with the urgent environmental issues we are facing.

"We will be holding a series of public events in the third week in April to coincide with Earth Day (22 April) under the heading ‘Guardians of Creation’. These will explore ways in which we can all help to protect and enhance our environment locally and globally."

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