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Menston church celebrates Eco Church Silver award

First published on: 10th November 2023

St John’s Menston with Woodhead is celebrating achieving its Eco Church Silver award from A Rocha.

The church’s Eco Church group, newly revitalised post COVID, has spent the last 18 months using the Eco Church framework of worship and teaching, land, buildings, community and global engagement and lifestyle to plan action.

Marilyn Banister, member of the Eco Church group, said: “Care for our world takes place regularly in our services; our new roof has more insulation and we are mindful of our energy use, not least due to the increased cost!  

“We are on a green tariff for electricity and have gone as far as we can with gas. Next up, we will be looking at alternative heating systems.

“Sharing the message of the need to care for our world is at the heart of what St John’s is trying to do.  

“Diocesan Bronze and Silver Creation Care courses have proved valuable in the sharing of ideas and hearing stories from other parishes.

“The Eco Church journey continues - more of a tortoise than a hare at St John’s but plenty to celebrate on the way!”

Tree planting and vegetable growing took place in the churchyard this year with donations of a tree, plant pots, compost and water butts from members of the congregation.

The children enjoyed harvesting this summer and made bee and bug hotels.

An Eco Quiz has been held, and as part of that Duplo bricks were used to visualise carbon footprints.

A nature-based trail for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2022 was held and the group are developing a tree trail for the churchyard.

The churchyard is also being promoted as a place for quiet contemplation.

The group teamed up with Climate Action Menston (CAM) to visit the Recycling and Energy Recovery Centre in Leeds to find out how non-recyclable waste is used for energy and hot water.

In conjunction with the Parish Council and CAM, the church promotes “Menston Businesses backing Climate Action”.  

Pledges to take climate action are made and they range from eating less meat, walking more to planting trees.

The post box for the communal Christmas card scheme will be set up shortly.

Use of Fairtrade tea and coffee is encouraged and bakers and cooks are encouraged to follow the LOAF principles of using local, organic, animal friendly and Fairtrade ingredients.

The Revd Steve Proudlove said: “It is always a privilege to be part of a church that takes so seriously its responsibility to its environment.  

“The world around us is a blessing, and one that we need to care for and work with, rather than pillage for our own ends.

“I am grateful to the Eco-committee at St John's for leading us in this mission.”

Find out more about becoming an Eco Church here.

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