ST John’s Church in Menston is celebrating achieving the Eco Church Silver award from A Rocha in September.

A Rocha is a Christian environmental charity that runs an award scheme nationally to encourage care for creation.

There are three levels of Eco Church Award – bronze, silver and gold. Once an award is confirmed, A Rocha UK send a certificate to the church to mark the achievement. In the UK, the vision through Eco Church is to create a vast network of churches across England and Wales as local centres of creation care in the community – shining beacons of hope for a brighter environmental future.

Marilyn Banister from the eco church group at Menston said St John's Church attained the bronze award in June 2019 and since then have been working towards the silver award and are delighted to receive recognition for the work that has been done.

She said that over the last 18 months, the group's ideas have led to action using the Eco Church framework in the areas of worship and teaching, land, buildings, community and global engagement and lifestyle.

She added: “Care for our world takes place regularly in our services; our new roof has more insulation and we are mindful of our energy use, not least due to the increased cost! We are on a green tariff for electric and have gone as far as we can with gas. Next up, we need to look at alternative heating systems.”

Tree planting and vegetable growing has been a focus this year and an eco quiz was enjoyed by all ages.

The group teamed up with Climate Action Menston (CAM) to visit the Recycling and Energy Recovery Centre in Leeds to find out how non recyclable waste is used for energy and hot water. In conjunction with Menston Parish Council and CAM, the church promotes Menston businesses backing climate action. Pledges to take climate action are promoted and they range from eating less meat, walking more and planting trees.

Vicar of St John's, Menston, the Rev’d Steve Proudlove said: “It is always a privilege to be part of a church that takes so seriously its responsibility to its environment. The world around us is a blessing, and one that we need to care for and work with, rather than pillage for our own ends. I am grateful to the eco-committee at St John's for leading us in this mission.”