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'The whole Eco-church philosophy has been a real gift to us' 

Jenny Few on how Wellspring Wirksworth has achieved an A Rocha Eco Church Silver Award 

Wellspring Church Eco AwardBefore March this year, Wellspring Wirksworth, like many other UK churches, was working towards becoming an eco-church through the A Rocha Eco-Church Programme. We became passionate about reducing our use of harmful plastics as well as regaining a sense of wonder about creation and a right view of our responsibility as stewards.

Heady and vital themes! We planted wild flowers and trees in our cemetery, re-thought some of the products we regularly buy, ordering locally to reduce our carbon footprint; we encouraged each other to shop more thoughtfully and through a series of Creation themed services to gain a better perspective on global sustainability.

We submitted our forms, and aimed for a bronze award. We were delighted when we achieved a Silver Award in April, only 18 months since registering.

We were even more pleased to receive this message:

A Rocha UK is delighted to celebrate the Methodist Church’s 100th awarded church – Wellspring Church, Wirksworth – a Methodist and Baptist Local Ecumenical Partnership which recently achieved a Silver Eco Church award.

Strictly speaking this is correct, as we worship in a Methodist building but we thought we should set the record straight by sharing the news with Baptists Together too!

Paul Heppleston, Wellspring’s EC coordinator, writes ‘The whole Eco-church philosophy has been a real gift to us and we are all very grateful that it has enabled us to make a relevant contribution, however small, in this world of huge challenges.’

Challenges which have become more acute since March; along with many people worldwide we have valued and celebrated the unlooked for spin-off of lockdown – silence, cleaner air, birdsong, wildlife roaming free; at the same time as grieving and lamenting the cause. It is heart-breaking that it has taken a global pandemic with many lives and livelihoods lost to bring a new focus on environmental issues.

Jenny Few is a member of Wellspring Wirksworth 

Baptist Times, 20/08/2020
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