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First Gold Eco Church award for church in diocese celebrated

First published on: 13th November 2023

St Mary’s Church, Embsay with Eastby, welcomed the Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, to a special celebratory service on Sunday, November 5.

In the service, Bishop Nick presented the congregation with their Eco Church Gold Award plaque.

The church is the first in the Diocese of Leeds to have gained the Gold Eco Church Award.  

In order to achieve this, the church and congregation had to address 5 different areas: Worship, Lifestyle, Buildings, Land and Global and Community Engagement.  

During the service, three wall hangings were presented, containing over 50 individual panels showcasing the various eco actions which the church congregation have sustained in their own lifestyles and in reaching out to include the involvement of the local community.

The Revd Canon Marion Russell, Vicar of Embsay with Eastby, said: “I am thrilled at the way our church members work together and keep each other alert to Eco issues.

“The challenges and assurances provided in the A Rocha UK Eco Church Award have been a hugely helpful and accessible structure to work through the Bronze, Silver and now Gold Awards over the last 5-6 years.

“Our eyes have been opened to many things!

“Led by the quiet dedication of the church Eco Group with Diana, our Parish Environment Officer, we are committed to continuing our local and global awareness as part of our thanksgiving to God, for God’s goodness and the gift of creation.”   

Diana Linford, Parish Environment Officer, said: “We see our Eco Church journey as one of small steps and we are keen to encourage other churches and individuals to start making small changes which really can make a difference.

“We will be holding an Eco Church morning next spring to help and support other churches on this journey.”

More on Eco Church can be found here.

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