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Bishop of Winchester accepts Eco Diocese award

The Bishop of Winchester was this week presented with an Eco Diocese award for the contribution the Diocese of Winchester is making to protect the environment.

The ‘Eco Diocese’ award recognises the steps the Diocese of Winchester has taken to ‘go green’. As part of this, churches across Hampshire have made the decision to switch to using renewable energy and solar panels, going on regular litter picks, making bug hotels, as well as petitioning to No.10 for more action on climate change.

A Rocha UK, an ecumenical Christian charity, presents the Eco Church award to churches that are caring for God’s creation by making their churches more eco-friendly, campaigning for global changes to protect the environment, and encouraging local churchgoers to alter their lifestyles to better care for the world around them. The Eco Diocese award recognises efforts made at a diocesan level to advance the cause of environmental care.

In order to achieve the Eco Diocese award, changes to policy and practise were made across the Diocese of the Winchester. So far, 54 parish churches have registered with Eco Church, while 15 have been awarded a bronze award for their achievements. Three of these have already received a silver award which requires even greater commitments to sustainability. As parishes across the diocese up their efforts to go green, more and more churches are registering with Eco Church and being awarded each month.

One of four dioceses to achieve the award, the Diocese of Winchester is in the vanguard of a growing movement of churches seeking to care more effectively for the earth.

On Tuesday Andy Atkins, CEO of A Rocha UK presented the Bishop of Winchester with a plaque commemorating the accomplishment.

Upon receiving the award, the Right Reverend Tim Dakin, Bishop of Winchester said: “As a Diocese we have a collective responsibility to care for God’s creation. It is an integral part of loving our neighbours and following God faithfully. I am absolutely thrilled that we have been able to build cooperation and pave a way to achieving real change for our environment”

Following the presentation, the CEO for A Rocha UK, Andy Atkins, said: “With climate change, plastic pollution and the collapse of biodiversity around the world, there’s a huge need for churches to play a fuller part in turning around the current environmental crisis. We are therefore delighted to be able to recognise the efforts made by those within the Diocese of Winchester and present them with the Eco Diocese award. Their valuable contributions will certainly help protect and sustain our environment.”

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