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How your church can become an Eco Church

By using schemes like ARocha’s Eco Church, Churches are taking the lead in caring for God's creation. The program equips churches to integrate sustainable practices into worship, buildings, land management, community engagement, and individual lifestyles. 

Eco Church encourages churches, cathedrals, and dioceses to embrace the fifth mark of mission by actively participating in environmental conservation. The scheme recognizes achievements through Bronze, Silver, and Gold Eco Church Awards. Remarkably, as of the end of 2022, there are already 1155 Bronze, 401 Silver, and 23 Gold Church of England Eco Churches, including prestigious cathedrals like Salisbury and Chelmsford. 

By September 2023, 77 churches across the Diocese of Guildford are Eco Churches. Of these, there are 57 Bronze, 23 Silver and 1 is Gold. 

So how can your church become an Eco Church and make a positive impact on the planet? 

Five areas of church life to consider 

To qualify for an Eco Church Award, your church must demonstrate environmental engagement in five crucial areas: 

5 steps to becoming an eco church

  • Worship and teaching - Integrate eco-friendly themes into your worship services and teachings, fostering a connection between faith and environmental responsibility. 

  • Management of church buildings - Implement energy-efficient practices, sustainable renovations, and resource-conscious management to reduce your church's carbon footprint. 

  • Management of church land - Develop eco-friendly initiatives on your church grounds, such as community gardens, wildlife habitats, and sustainable landscaping. 

  • Community and global engagement - Engage your congregation in outreach programs, support environmental causes, and actively participate in initiatives that resonate with the mission of global conservation. 

  • Lifestyle - Encourage eco-friendly habits among your congregation members, promoting sustainable living practices in daily life. 

The awards 

There are three levels of Eco Church Awards, Bronze, Silver, and Gold. 

Track your progress - Through an online survey you can see what you have achieved and what you can do more in. Coloured lines show accumulated points where bronze, silver, or gold lines will appear based on your achievements in each category. Your church must meet the required standards in each area applicable to your context. 

Determine what level of award you can achieve - If all survey categories turn bronze or above, you qualify for a Bronze Award. If they all turn silver or above, you would qualify for a Silver Award. And the same for the Gold. Awards are based on the level achieved in all relevant areas. 

Apply for an award - Once your survey indicates enough points for an Award, you can apply. Church leaders' approval is sought through email confirmation. For Gold Awards, an Eco Church Assessor may visit to validate your efforts. 

Certification - On confirmation of your Eco Church Award, your church will receive a certificate, a testament to your commitment to caring for God's earth. You can also choose to purchase an Eco Church plaque to display. 

What church leaders say about Eco Church 

We asked five church leaders across the diocese what the impact of Eco Church has been for their church: 

  • It has increased commitment and involvement of people outside of the ‘core’ leadership; 

  • It deepens the congregation’s understanding of the breadth of discipleship, providing a structure for how to apply intentions to care for creation; 

  • It allows different ways for people to connect to suit what energises them; 

  • It enables mission in the surrounding community – it makes the church relevant to big issues the world is facing. 

We asked the same leaders what they would say to other churches about becoming an Eco Church: 

  • Go for it…You won’t be disappointed. 

  • It’s a great way to draw new people into your core team. 

  • You can progress at your own pace – don’t be ‘hooked on’ just progressing to a higher level of award. 

  • It doesn’t need much money – it’s more about shaping people’s hearts. 

  • The ARocha website is easy to use. 


If you have any questions on how to start your Eco journey, take a look at our web pages dedicated to caring for the environment. Together, we can care for God's creation and embody the spirit of the fifth mark of mission. 

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