Worcester Cathedral scoops prestigious eco award for going green - The Droitwich Standard

Worcester Cathedral scoops prestigious eco award for going green

Droitwich Editorial 22nd Mar, 2023   0

WORCESTER Cathedral has had its green credentials recognised after being awarded a Silver Eco Church Award.

The accolade has been awarded by A Rocha UK, the Christian environmental charity committed to equipping churches and their congregations to care for the environment.

After achieving the bronze award last year, the cathedral’s eco group has been busy working towards silver by implementing a number of measures to improve its eco rating and involve the whole community.

The most recent one was a rewilding project to create a wildlife habitat, consisting of a wildflower meadow and a large ‘bug hotel’ which has been picked as one of Co-op UK’s Local Community Fund causes for the second year running.

Last year the Eco Group was awarded National Lottery Funding for its ‘Living Gently on the Earth’ project – a series of community events, talks and workshops on caring for our planet.

Around 10 well-attended sessions have been hosted over the past year, including a vegetarian cooking demo, ethical investments, reducing and acting on waste and plastic, growing your own food, active travel, energy use and measuring and acting on your carbon footprint.

Worcester Cathedral also held a Big Green Eco Fair in the medieval cloister as part of the series last October and is looking forward to making it an annual event for the whole community to come together and celebrate eco-friendly living.

Other work has included completing an energy assessment and carbon emissions report, exploring renewable energy sources, collecting rainwater and installing bird feeders around the site.

Annual wildlife and wildflower surveys have both been implemented, composting facilities installed and the cathedral has been engaging with Worcestershire MPs on a number of issues.

The cathedral’s Eco Group was formed to take forward the vision that ‘in 2025, Worcester Cathedral will be a catalyst for campaigning and awareness on the environment and social justice.’

Part of that has been working towards the Eco-Church Gold Standard Award and achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

The Vice-Dean of Worcester, Canon Stephen Edwards, who heads-up the Eco Group, said everyone was delighted to have achieved an A Rocha UK silver award.

“Since its formation, the cathedral’s dedicated and hard-working Eco Group has been working towards the Eco Church scheme, and we are thrilled to have achieved the second milestone on our journey to becoming an Eco Cathedral.”

In 2021, the Dean and Chapter of Worcester Cathedral publicly recognised a climate and environmental emergency which ‘affected humanity’s ability to sustain civilisation in its present form’.

“This crisis is principally caused by a failure of human beings to fullfil God’s call to love our neighbours, live justly and steward God’s creation.”

As a result of this declaration Worcester Cathedral said it was committed to bring forward an action plan to minimise its negative corporate impact on the environment and help restoration where possible, achieve net zero emissions by 2030, care for the natural environment and biodiversity in the grounds of the cathedral and encourage the community to make changes and act on this emergency.

The overall aim of the A Rocha UK Eco Church award scheme is to celebrate the ways church communities have been engaging with caring for the earth as a key part of their Christian faith.

In awarding Worcester Cathedral Silver status, A Rocha UK said: “Thank you for all you are doing to champion caring for creation in your church, and congratulations on your Eco Church award.”


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