CoE diocese hopes to become the Anglican world’s first “Eco-Diocese”
The Diocese of Winchester has launched a bid to become the first ‘Eco Diocese’ in the UK.
Eco Church, an initiative from A Rocha UK, is an award scheme designed to celebrate those parishes which are ‘caring for God’s creation’ through acting to make their churches more eco-friendly, campaigning for global changes to protect the environment and encouraging local churchgoers to alter their lifestyles to better care for the world around them.
The Eco Diocese challenge encourages Dioceses across the UK to make a Diocesan-wide commitment to supporting environmentally friendly initiatives. To achieve the award, Dioceses must secure changes to policy and practice at Diocesan-level, as well as a minimum of ten per cent of local churches registering with the Eco-Church programme and five per cent of local churches securing the scheme’s Bronze Award.
To date, no Diocese in the UK has achieved the Eco Diocese award, but the Diocese of Winchester hopes to be first to do so.
To this end it has today launched a new video to encourage churches in Hampshire and East Dorset to register with the scheme and begin working towards the Bronze, Silver and Gold awards which it supports. Already, 37 local parishes have registered with Eco Church, nine of which have achieved the Bronze award and two of which have achieved the Silver award.
Launching the video, the Right Reverend Tim Dakin, Bishop of Winchester, said:
“I hope parishes across the Diocese of Winchester will take the important step of registering to become Eco Churches as we work collectively to become an Eco Diocese. As Christians, it is crucial that we are responsible stewards of God’s creation, working together to protect our world. The Eco Church scheme is an excellent way to structure a parish’s work to help the environment and of recognising the work which our churches are doing to become more sustainable communities.