Eco Comment – Eco Church

03 May 2024

Those of you who were in the cathedral last weekend might have noticed the pull up banners that we borrowed from the diocese. ‘Good news for All Creation’ is a diocesan message and Eco Church is an organisation specifically encouraging churches from all denominations throughout the UK to work towards awards demonstrating the drive to net zero and/or sustainability.

We also had a variety of posters and leaflets from the Green Christian community. They are ‘ordinary Christians from all backgrounds and traditions. Inspired by (their) faith (they) work to care for Creation through prayer, living simply, public witness, campaigning and mutual encouragement. (They) work alongside those of faith and no faith.’ These are the people who are possibly the more visible Christians with regards to caring for the environment as they are often to be seen at the front of demonstrations and marches encouraging us and our politicians to act in a sustainable manner and put into law changes that will protect our environment.

For many of us the notion of taking part in such demonstrations of belief is difficult. How many of us ‘talk the talk’ but are reticent to ‘walk the walk’?

Eco Church is less political in that it offers a quieter, less obvious way of helping save creation in our own spaces and churches. The awards are divided up into five sections.
• Worship and Teaching
• Buildings
• Land
• Community and Global Engagement
• Lifestyle.
It’s immediately obvious that some might be easier to achieve than others. However, evidence/proof has to be submitted in both words and photos of recent and relevant activities and events for each area. We were fortunate that when we went for the Bronze Award we were able to make reference to Luke Jerram’s Gaia installation and it’s associated events and activities as a means of ticking several boxes. In one respect we’re still doing it as the Eco Group poster is a photo of the installation in Wakefield Cathedral.

In the coming months we will be asking congregations and visitors to Wakefield Cathedral to complete some questionnaires about their lifestyles and thoughts about sustainability and how both individually and collectively we can create opportunities for a greener and healthier environment.

We are fortunate in Wakefield to have a council that is proactive in it’s environmental strategy. We’re hoping to be included in their Green and Blue project which hopes to make more green spaces and create bluer water leisure opportunities using both the river Calder, the canal and the many pieces of water in the area.

We’re also working with Just Transition Wakefield, a group in their own right but which also acts as an umbrella group for like minded organisations and individuals. The showing of the ‘Walking on Thin Ice’ film and joining them at the Hepworth Gallery for the Earth Day event were the first opportunities for us to share both information and networking opportunities.

Communication is key. Knowing how others are thinking and working benefits us all. I’m a great believer in not reinventing the wheel. If we find out what is already in place or in the pipeline we can build so much more effectively and efficiently. This can take us out of our comfort zone though. It might entail us going out to meet with others and asking those questions. Sometimes it might even mean finding out what the questions are that we need to know in order to get the answers we need.

We in the Eco Group are hoping that interested and concerned parties will join in with our quest for answers and help us build on what we already have in place. We’re not asking you to march like the Green Christians but we would like you to join in and show your support and solidarity with the cause.

Susan Morgan
Eco Group

Want to know more about the Eco Group?

Wakefield Cathedral’s Eco Group brings together members of the congregation, volunteers and staff to work towards making the cathedral a greener place to work and worship.

The Eco Group achieves its goals through a variety of activities, including partnerships with local community groups.

We invite anyone and everyone to reach out if they are interested in joining the eco group, or simply finding out more about what we do.

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