The first parish in England to be named the Green Church of the Year took steps to reduce its carbon footprint 18 months ago with a “walking school bus” scheme for adults to walk children to school rather than driving them there.
Sixty separate daily car journeys have been eliminated since Rev. Cathy Horder and other leaders set up a roster to escort the children to school
Since then Holy Trinity (Anglican) Church at Cleeve near Bristol in southeast England has switched to a green energy supplier, run its own recycling scheme and campaigned against the extension of Bristol airport.
“Caring for creation is a neglected mark of mission. The gap between what is perceived as Christianity and green issues needs to be closed,” Ms. Horder said in the Church Times newspaper which organized the Green Church Awards in association with environmental and campaigning organizations.
As overall winner of the awards, the church received a 500 pound ($1,030 Cdn) cheque at a Nov. 19 ceremony in London, as well as 1,000 pounds ($2,060 Cdn) worth of carbon offsetting from the Equiclimate consultancy, and a low-energy washing machine.
Other prize winners included St. Barnabas’s, near Yeovil, western England, where surplus land has been turned into vegetable allotments, St. Chad’s in Leeds, which enlisted a local fungus group to plant mushrooms in the churchyard, and St. Aldhelm’s at Edmonton in north London, which now contributes to the national power grid from its rooftop solar panels.
Such panels have also been installed at St. James’s, Piccadilly, in central London, a 17th century church designed by architect Sir Christopher Wren, and known to many visitors to the capital. The panels enable the church to generate its own electricity.
The next Green Church Awards, open to churches of any denomination, will be held in 2009.