Eco friendly Suffolk church wins gold

A Suffolk church has been officially recognised for its trailblazing approach to becoming eco friendly. All Saints’ Church, Mendham, is the first within the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich to achieve gold eco status from the A Rocha charity scheme.

A Rocha recognises churches which are helping the environment in worship and teaching, buildings, land,community and global engagement and lifestyle and marks the church’s plans to analyse and reduce the church’s carbon footprint and manage land according to an environmentally friendly plan.

The Revd Diane Ekins Powell, the local minister, said: "Our Eco church journey began as we went into lockdown trying to meet criteria but now has become an integrated part of all we stand for and do. Our more recent actions have included equipping the church with all LED bulbs, promoting plastic-free July with the local school, hosting a fayre to promote local products, including farms and developing opportunities to use the churchyard for worship, reflection and to improve people’s well-being. We also e-twinned the toilet with Uganda helping a community to build their own basic toilet, access clean water and learn about hygiene."

The churchyard has become a haven for residents and visitors alike to walk in and watch the birds and primary school children also helped create a bug and hedgehog hotel and put up bird feeders.  

Diane was first inspired to live an eco-friendly lifestyle after working in Kenya in the 1990s with her husband Granville, where they had to live without the benefits of constant running water and a stable electricity supply. She said:"When we came back to England, we felt there was just no way we could return to living life the way we did before. We wanted to live life like the stars of The Good Life – we aimed to become as self-sufficient as we could, we grew our own food, recycled our own water."

Diane, a former head teacher at Ranelagh Primary School, Ipswich, added that the award would enable the church to share its values with others, share what it had learned and that small actions could make a difference.

The church says that everyone in the congregation joined in and there was cooperation with other organisations and people in the community.

For information about Eco Church please click here.

Picture caption: Worshippers celebrate at Mendham in mid Suffolk with Bishop Martin, being recognised for their trailblazing approach to being eco-friendly. Picture by Keith Mindham.

Page last updated: Wednesday 13th March 2024 11:04 AM
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