Dr Suzanne Dalton from St Chad's Headingley is one of five people in the country to win the Green Champion Award in the Church Times Green Church Awards which were announced at a ceremony at Lambeth Palace this week.
The ecumenical awards, which were last held ten years ago, attracted 117 entries in five categories. Winning entries included a church in County Durham that has involved over 1000 young people in guerrilla gardening and a church in South London that is building a new church hall made out of straw bales.
In a message to the finalists, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said: “Responding to climate change is an essential part of our responsibility to safeguard God’s creation.
“The dedication and devotion of those shortlisted for the Green Church awards is extraordinary and their recognition well deserved.”
Mike Willison, of St Chad's Green Team, says, "Suzanne headed up the Green Team from its inception in 2001. It's her tireless work in establishing the Green Team and bringing environmental issues to the fore that resulted in St Chad's gaining numerous awards for its environmental work, including three Eco-congregation Awards, an Eco-Church silver award and the Biodiversity Award at the last Church Times Green Awards.
"Suzanne recently moved to Oxford, but her patience, determination and positivity continues to be a huge source of inspiration.
She has also very generously donated her share (£200) of the Green Champion Award to St Chad's Green Team to further its work."
Over the Diocese as a whole, there were five entries - three from Anglican churches - one for Green Champion and two for Biodiversity, and two from the Methodists - one Green Champion and one for the Green Futures Award.
Other winners of the Green Champion Award are Martyn Goss (diocese of Exeter); Br Hugh Cobbett SSF (Hilfield Friary); Victoria Gilbert (St Catherine’s, Burbage) and Judith Allison (St John’s Methodist Church, Settle).
The awards were organised by the Church Times in partnership with the C of E’s national environment programme, Shrinking the Footprint. Other sponsors were Good Energy, the Levy Restaurant chain, and Ecclesiastical Insurance.
The award categories are: Green Building Award, Biodiversity award, Green Congregation award, Green Champion award and Green Futures award.