Eco Church is a scheme for churches in England and Wales. To gain an Eco Church award, churches must complete a unique online Eco Survey about how they are caring for God’s Earth in different areas of their life and work. The answers a church provides contribute to an Eco Church Award and there are three levels of Eco Church Award – Bronze, Silver and Gold. In order to qualify for an Award you must attain the required standard in each of the areas covered by the Eco Survey that apply to your church (some churches do not have buildings or land).
Stourbridge Meeting gained a Bronze award in 2018, and over the last 5 years the Meeting has been taking the necessary individual and collective actions to qualify for a Silver.
The survey takes the church through five key areas of church life:
- Worship and teaching
- Management of church buildings
- Management of church land
- Community and global engagement
It takes into account whether or not your church has buildings or land, and although having an energy efficient building is a contributing factor, other factors (such as community engagement and the lifestyle of church members) are equally important. For Stourbridge this is probably just as well, given that the (Grade 2* listed) Meeting House was built in 1689, with limited scope for “greening” the basic structure!
The key benefit of participation in the scheme is not the attainment of an award, but rather to provide a framework for all members of the Local Meeting community to engage in a shared journey towards a sustainable lifestyle – including both individual and corporate behaviour.