Churches win awards for eco-friendly measures
Two churches in Kent have won awards for making steps to be eco-friendly, including the installation of extra insulation to reduce energy costs and emissions.
The two buildings in Edenbridge near Sevenoaks have been recognised by A Rocha UK, a Christian charity focused on conservation issues, Oxted News reports.
St John's United Reform Church was given a silver level award for its work and Edenbridge Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul's church a bronze award, for treating environmental work as an integral part of their wider missions.
Explaining this approach, spokesperson Gill Musgrove said: "One of St John's strongest motivations for its eco activities is the children.
"Every time we baptise a new baby we are reminded of the state of the planet on which they and children the world over must live."
St John's has fitted insulation in the building wherever possible, as well as installing photovoltaic panels on the roof, making it a net supplier of electricity. Other measures have included establishing its own nature reserve, the use of energy-saving bulbs, a recycling centre, double glazing, rainwater recycling to irrigate plants and the use of green energy suppliers.
It is also seeking to promote environmentalism with eco-themed activities for children, environmental film evenings and 'green spots' in the parish newsletter.
Hilary Morgan, who prepared the application to the charity on behalf of St Peter and St Paul's, said it had taken some time to get people involved in the project, but noted that progress in developing a commitment to eco-friendliness tends to be like knocking down a wall "one brick at a time".
A Rocha, which is based in Southall, Middlesex, is involved in a range of green activities. It recently established a new nature reserve at Foxearth Meadows, on the border between Suffolk and Essex, which will be formally opened on May 13th.