Eco Church provides resources to enable churches to express care for God’s world in worship and teaching, church buildings and land, engagement with local community and in global campaigns and in personal lifestyles of the congregation.
The Eco Church Award is a scheme run by the Christian environmental charity A Rocha in partnership with Christian Aid, The United Reformed Church, The Church of England, The Methodist Church and Tearfund. It is given to churches which have carried out an environmental review, have helped their congregation make the connection between their Christian faith and environmental concerns, and have taken practical steps to put those concerns into action. Prior to 2017, A Rocha operated the Eco-Congregation award scheme.
St Paul’s first received an Eco- congregation award in February 2011 .
In 2015 we were accredited with our second Eco-Congregation award.
In 2018 we received a Bronze Eco Church award.
This was presented to our Eco Group on 22 April at our Earth Day service by Colin Date, acting chair of Christian Concern for One World.
In May 2022, we received a Silver Eco Church award. This was presented to Keith Whyte, chair of our Eco Group, by Revd Clare Downing, Moderator of the Wessex Synod of the URC and Moderator of the URC General Assembly.
On the roof of our church building is an array of solar panels, generously donated by a church member, which generate a maximum power output of 1.7Kw and generate in the region of 1,500 Kwh per year. The electricity generated is fed into the National Grid, benefiting both the church and also the wider community.
We aim to be environmentally responsible in our church life. Our global concerns for the developing world are expressed through Christian Aid, and particularly through the United Reformed Church’s Commitment for Life programme. Through the generosity of our members, through the Tearfund Toilet Twinning Programme, we have twinned all of our toilets, a tap and a bin, thus helping to support communities where sanitation is inadequate.
We have been recognised as a FairTrade Church for many years.
In 2017 we reviewed our electricity provider and through the Big Church Switch we changed to a 100% renewable source.
In our worship many of our hymns and prayers express our concern about human misuse of creation, and our church services are sometimes environmentally themed.
We recognise that there is much more that we can do in modifying our personal lifestyles and in campaigning for greater awareness of the severe environmental problems the world faces and through our Eco Group Action Plan we set targets for doing this.
A presentation about how we gained our Bronze Eco Church award is available here.
A prayer from Christian Aid:
Christ our Lord,
when we remember the sacrifice you made for the world,
remind us that we are called to care for the world and its people,
and challenge us to see how our actions change the world.
Be with us as we act to make a difference. Amen
If you wish to become involved in caring for the environment in the Berkshire area, you may wish to contact one of the local groups such as: Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust, the Greenlink Berkshire Network of Community Groups or the Greater Reading Environmental Network .