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Norwich church goes green and wins award

A Norwich church has received an eco-award to recognise its ongoing efforts to care for the environment in all areas of church life

NCBC eco700

A dedicated team from Norwich Central Baptist Church (NCBC) have been working for many months towards the ‘Eco-Congregation’ award, administered by Christian organisation A Rocha.

Being an eco-friendly church goes beyond the good practices of recycling and serving fair-trade tea and coffee -  churches which receive the award must demonstrate that they care seriously for the earth and ensure their church life and activities have a positive impact on the environment.

The church carried out an 'eco-audit' to identify priorities for improvement. They then drew up an action plan which included many aspects of church life, including the management of their buildings, travel to church, sourcing ethical suppliers and the recycling of food waste.

The team was led by Kirstin Aitken who said, 'We have taken action in a lot of different areas of church life. We have had a sermon series, taken part in a climate change campaign, focused on how we can steward our resources better, and held prayer meetings about the environment. As a church we’ve been learning how we can worship God more fully through caring for creation.'

The goals were successfully achieved and awarding body A Rocha praised NCBC for the way so many groups within the church were represented on the eco team and for the support for the project from the whole church.

A special service was held at NCBC on 24 January with visiting preacher the Revd Dr John Weaver from the John Ray Initiative, an educational charity which encourages action on the global environmental crisis. Dr Weaver spoke about the Biblical mandate for caring for the earth and the hope there is in Jesus for God's world. He said, “Eco-congregation is our Christian calling. It’s not just an award but it’s about the life of the church.”

The award plaque – fashioned from recycled church pews – was presented by Dr Weaver and will be displayed in pride of place in the church building.

More churches are encouraged to take the challenge to go green and the Eco Congregation award has been simplified and relaunched as Eco Church to become more accessible to churches in the hope that many more people will participate and incorporate caring for God’s earth into their everyday work and witness.

NCBC are planning an information evening to let other churches know about how they can be more green. If you would be interested in attending email Kirstin on kirstinaitken@hotmail.com

Read more: Introducing Eco Church, Christian charity A Rocha's new scheme to help churches become eco-friendly

Pictured above: The Eco-Congregation team, with Kirstin, centre holding the plaque and Dr Weaver fourth from right. NCBC's minister Mark Fairweather-Tall is third from left. 

Baptist Times, 26/01/2016
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