Church House achieves a silver Eco award

First published on: 27th January 2022

The diocesan offices at Church House have been awarded a silver Eco Church award

Eco Church is an interdenominational Christian environmental awards scheme for churches (and diocesan offices), run by A Rocha UK. Eco Church provides tools to help churches weave their response to environmental issues into their mission and ministry.

The journey for Church House began in November 2020 when Newcastle Diocese registered to become an Eco Diocese. Eco Diocese is part of the wider Eco Church awards, and encourages churches to participate in the scheme and demonstrate commitment to caring for God’s creation. The Diocese of Newcastle is working towards a bronze Eco Diocese award, through more environmentally-friendly management of our buildings, land, diocesan funds and staff training.

As a part of this we began to consider how Church House could be greener, and undertook the Eco Church survey to see what improvements we could make. You can take a look at the survey and try this for your church here.

The first step for Church House for the buildings section of the survey was to reduce our energy use. In early 2021, LED lighting was installed throughout the building. LED lighting is much more energy efficient and converts over 90 per cent of energy, and emits very little heat. This means LED lightbulbs need far less energy to produce the same amount of light as a traditional bulb. In Church House the lights in the washrooms and some corridors now switch on and off automatically as well, to save energy usage.

You may have heard a lot about ‘going net zero carbon’ in the news after COP26 in Glasgow. The Diocese of Newcastle is also aiming to go net zero by 2030 and Church House has achieved this for its energy use! Church House is on a 100 per cent renewable electricity tariff, and earlier this year switched to 100 per cent biogas tariff as well, as such our energy use is carbon net zero.

Another highlight has been the installation of an electric vehicle charging point (for two vehicles) available for staff and visitors to use. It has been fantastic to see the charge point being used and to be able to provide this as an option for lower carbon travel.   

The great thing about the Eco Church survey is that it suggests different actions you could take and there is helpful advice and resources for how to do this. In a time of unprecedented environmental stresses, Eco Church aims to help churches respond to God’s mandate to human beings to care for his creation, by integrating environmental care throughout their church’s life and mission. To find out more, visit the Eco Church website.

Powered by Church Edit