Bronze eco award for Diocese of Carlisle
The Diocese of Carlisle has gained a bronze eco award in recognition of its environmental focus.
A Rocha UK - a Christian charity working to protect and restore the natural world –presented the award after the Diocese worked on environmental projects at its head office in Penrith as well as encouraging churches across Cumbria to register as Eco Churches.
It comes just weeks after work was also completed on the Diocese’s first eco vicarage in the village of Natland, near Kendal.
Anna Newlove, Diocesan Net Zero Officer, said: “Work towards the bronze award started back in 2022 as we encouraged more churches to become Eco Churches. That continued through 2023 with a particular focus on our Head Office and improved work practices there.
“We are delighted to have received this award which acknowledges the firm commitment we have made to environmental issues and we are committed to working towards the next level Eco Diocese award over the coming years.”
The bronze award considers the Diocese’s Net Zero Action plan which was endorsed by Synod last October, as well as the work of its environmental group which monitors action and progress.
Ten per cent of churches must also be registered under the Eco Church scheme and five per cent must have gained an award. Currently a fifth of churches in the Diocese are registered with 10 per cent having already gained an award.
The award also takes account of the promotion of environmental issues in church schools and is a reflection of how eco issues are embedded in ministerial training. Last December, a separate bronze award was issued for Church House – the Diocese’s head office in Penrith – in recognition of work around the installation of sensor-activated LED lighting, a commitment to minimise printing and the introduction of recycled paper.
Diocesan Secretary Derek Hurton said: “This award is testament to the work ongoing at a local level in so many of our churches who have made that commitment to protect God’s creation through the Eco Church initiative. It also ties in incredibly well with our ecumenical vision and strategy God for All and one of its key themes which is to ‘tread gently’.
“I’d especially like to thank colleagues in the Diocese’s environmental team who have worked so hard to draw together the necessary evidence that demonstrates targets have been met for this bronze award. We are now very much looking towards what needs to be done to move to a silver Eco Diocese award.”
The Diocese is one of 30 to receive an Eco Diocese award of the 48 currently registered with A Rocha UK.
Jo Chamberlain, the Church of England’s National Environment Officer, said: “A huge congratulations to the Diocese of Carlisle on achieving this Bronze award. Their commitment to ensuring environment care is at the heart of all they do shines through, along with great partnership work in encouraging their local churches to care for God’s creation. We’re excited to follow their journey.
“We are passionate about supporting churches across the whole of the country to care for God’s creation as part of their faith, practice and mission. The Eco Church and Eco Diocese schemes really help a church or diocese see how to take the next step as they explore practical ways they can care for the environment. 26 dioceses have now achieved the bronze award. It’s a fantastic resource which encourages the whole church family to embody the fifth mark of mission – ‘to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth’.”
Notes for editors
For more information about A Rocha UK visit: https://arocha.org.uk/
For further information contact Dave Roberts, Diocesan Head of Communications, on 07469 153658 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.