Greening Christ ChurchGreening Christ Church - Our ECO Church Journey


ECO Church Silver Award Winner 2June 2023 Update.

We are really pleased to announce that we have now been awarded the Silver Eco Church Award. The feedback on our application was very positive: 

    It was so encouraging to see your brilliant Eco Church page on your church website detailing your journey, and we encourage you to continue to share your story and your activities as an eco church in this great way.

    Thank you for taking the time to provide us with some further comments to support your application. This was so helpful for understanding your church context and so encouraging for us to hear more details of your eco church journey and hear about all the activities you have participated in.

Well done to everyone involved


Bronze AwardWhy are we focusing on the environment at Christ Church?

God’s creation, our planet, is so important to us all. At Christ Church, we want to become better caretakers of God’s creation, so have started the journey towards Eco status.  Cop26 held in 2021 helped to put the environment in sharp focus for us all.

The Church of England’s 5th Mark of mission asks us to “strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth.” while the Rt Revd Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani, Bishop of Chelmsford has asked us all to pray and discuss what action we can take as a church to become part of the solution to the climate crisis. 

If we were in any doubt that the Earth is warming and in a climate crisis, then the graphic below makes it very clear.


A little bit of context

Global Temperature Change 2023

“These ‘warming stripe’ graphics are visual representations of the change in temperature as measured in each country over the past 100+ years. Each stripe represents the temperature in that country averaged over a year. For most countries, the stripes start in the year 1901 and finish in 2020.
For virtually every country or region, the stripes turn from mainly blue to mainly red in more recent years, illustrating the rise in average temperatures in that country.
“ Source:


ECO Church Update March 2023

Over the last two years we have been working hard at Christ Church to be better caretakers of God’s creation, which was the focus of our summer series in 2021.  In October 2021 we were successful in gaining the Bronze Award.

ECO Church Bronze Award WinnerIn order to gain the award, we undertook a survey which focuses on five key areas of church life

  • Worship and teaching
  • Management of church buildings
  • Management of church land
  • Community and global engagement
  • Lifestyle

Each key area has a number of questions to complete that allows us to explore our eco credentials.


Worship and Teaching

When we completed the assessment for the Bronze award, we identified several key areas to work on to achieve the silver award, these were:

  • Invite more outside speakers to talk about environmental issues.- Developing
  • Prayers for environmental issues are more regular – Achieved
  • Develop environmental issues as a teaching theme for children’s groups - Developing
  • Have regular hymns and songs and liturgies based on environmental issues - Achieved

Pensioners Praise Aug 2022We have made real progress towards these targets. We have developed the theme of caring for God’s creation throughout 2022. Our Pensioners Praise worship focused on this theme for the whole of 2022, mirroring and developing on the work we did in the summer series of 2021.

For the Beauty of the EarthWe regularly now have themed environmental days  where we focus on creation. Throughout the year we ensure that worship songs and prayers have an environmental theme and as a Church leadership and community we have made a pledge to improve our environmental credentials. 

 As we move forward we wish to continue to develop this area, so our action points are as follows

Action Plan.

  1. Keep a record of the prayers and worship songs used.
  2. Develop environmental issues as a teaching theme for children’s groups
  3. Invite more outside speakers to talk about environmental issues.

Rocha UK Prayer Diary


Management of Church Buildings

When we gained the Bronze award, we set ourselves a target for the Silver Award of completing the following:

  • Introduce recycled toilet paper. – Achieved
  • Move towards all cleaning products being environmentally friendly.- Achieved
  • Reducing paper waste in the church office by creating notepads from scrap paper.- Achieved
  • Install a number of water butts – We have decided at present not to install these due to possible vandalism

As you can see we have made great progress since the Bronze award, and will hopefully very soon move this section to the Silver Award.

Save a FlushMost of the church is insulated with 150mm insulation in the ceiling and the vast Majority of the windows and doors are double glazed. We have a couple of areas to work on to help us achieve the Silver Award in the very near future.

We have recently purchased some “Save a flush” bags, which have now been installed. 

Action Plan

  • Have a plan to replace our older lighting with LED bulbs.
  • Install water saving dual flush or other water saving devices in our toilets.



Our action points from the Bronze award were,

  • We shall invite local primary schools to use our grounds for wildlife surveys. Developing
  • We shall make and install a number of bird boxes and bug hotels. - Developing
  • We shall investigate wildlife feeding stations - Ongoing

Plants 2023We have continued to explore our action points from the last award, and are getting closer to completing several of these

We continue to improve our church grounds for the benefit of the local plants and animals as well as for the enjoyment and use by the community and are currently at Silver level.  Ours gardening team meet each Thursday morning and are doing an amazing job of looking after the church grounds. Our 4,000 crocuses have flowered again this year and looked amazing in early spring.

 As these have been planted within the grass areas, it has also encouraged us to think more carefully about our mowing regime and we are looking at developing this even further in the coming years.

Pollinating Plants 2023When planting out the flower beds consideration is given to the flowers that will encourage pollinators, and our Wild flower slope in the summer helps to achieve this

Christ Church Gardening Team

Action Plan

  • Formalise our Mowing regime
  • Continue to develop the planting to maximise the benefit for wildlife. We shall invite local primary schools to use our grounds for wildlife surveys.
  • We shall make and install a number of bird boxes and bug hotels.
  • We shall investigate wildlife feeding stations


Community and Global Engagement

We are currently at the Silver level for the community and global engagement aspect of the award.
Our targets from the Bronze Award were:

  • Investigate the possibility of running a green fair. Ongoing
  • Organise a series of walks for people to enjoy from our church.- Achieved
  • Investigate whether a car share scheme would benefit the community. Ongoing
  • Investigate supporting an environmental charity - Achieved

Prayer StopWe try as often as possible to invite people with an environmental background to talk at a service, and use Environment Sunday in September to highlight this. We have connected with Greening the church to share our experiences and to learn more about how to care for the environment.

Christ Church Eco WalksWe have also developed a series of Eco Walks from Church to notable local landmarks to encourage walking, enjoying the environment and prayer in the countryside.

Action Plan.

  • Hold more environmentally themed events through the year.
  • Encourage more people to get involved in sustainability projects



  • Investigate promoting reuse schemes in church - Ongoing
  • Introduce a Community Christmas Card and Easter Card- Completed
  • Encourage the church community to use food at home that is LOAF - Ongoing
  • As a church community undertake a lifestyle audit - Completed

We have made good progress on this key aspect, and are currently at the Silver level of the award. We have a small Eco Award leadership group that helps to work towards the different levels of the award, and we report back to the DCC.  We have developed a series of walks for the congregation to try, all starting from the church and visiting other churches nearby or other places of interest. We also encourage people to reuse, reduce and recycle, and have been doing so in the church office by reducing the amount of paper used by reusing sheets where possible.

Action Plan.

  • Encourage people to take a carbon footprint survey and display results.
  • Encourage the recycling of objects by organising events.


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