Step 1: Getting going
Undertake an environmental audit of your church to identify its existing good environmental practice and prioritise areas for development. Eco-Congregation provides a church’s environmental check-up with an easy tick box format.
The check-list helps to establish where you are at present and to decide which areas you would like to prioritise. It is a good idea to gather a small group together to work through this. It need not take more than an hour. You can then download the relevant sections from Resources, which are designed to help your church put its environmental plans into action. It’s a good idea to involve as many of your church members as possible.
The church check-up includes a registration form (page 9). We’d appreciate if you could complete this and send it to Eco-Congregation Ireland, c/o 45 Belvoir Drive, Belfast BT8 7DH. This is helpful for us for admin, networking and funding purposes.
Step 2: Seek wider support and put your plans into action Once you have downloaded your chosen resources, distribute them amongst appropriate people/groups in the church, e.g. worship resources to worship group/leader, and use the ideas to green your church’s life and mission.
Consider seeking support from other bodies e.g. local authority officers/wildlife trusts, etc. Remember to retain evidence of your activities for a future award application.
Step 3: Apply for the Eco-Congregation Award
Eco-Congregation has an award scheme designed to affirm the good environmental work of churches and to witness to the wider world that churches care for God’s creation
The award is given to churches that have undertaken an environmental check-up and have taken initiatives in each of the following three areas:
- Spiritual – linking environmental issues with the Christian faith e.g. through worship
- Practical – practising what is preached e.g. an energy, churchyard or recycling project
- Community – worked with or through their local community on environmental issues e.g. a litter pick, project with a school or other community group, gaining positive publicity
- Global – supporting charities/projects that are working to help people in developing countries eg. Trócaire, Christian Aid, Tearfund