Devizes Partnership of Churches has established a small group of representatives of local churches to work on the Eco Church project organised by Christian environment group Arocha UK. Churches are well placed to take up the challenge of reducing their environmental impact because the work can reach a wide range of people within and beyond their congregations. Each church has a different set of issues to work on. Some have old and special buildings, some have large churchyards while others have none. Forms of worship vary from church to church but the desire is still to make the life of the churches, its buildings and use as green as possible.
The programme is a well-designed on line survey on which churches can record their achievements and apply for an award. The topics covered range from inclusion of environmental issues in worship and teaching, management of land and buildings, individual actions and reaching out into the wider community at home and abroad. The advantage of the Churches Together group is that local churches can work to support and encourage each other. The sub group meets regularly to discuss progress and any problems they face. Ideas are exchanged and joint projects are being considered. The work is in its early stages but already the Quaker Meeting House has achieved the bronze award and others are not far behind.
The group was pleased to support a roadshow at St James Church on 25 February, brought by Salisbury Diocese and Arocha, where they were able to meet people from churches outside the town. Any church considering starting on the programme would be welcome to join the group too.