THIS week the Church Times launches its Green Church Awards 2017, in recognition of a range of impressive environmental advances made by churches of all denominations in the past few years.
Many individual initiatives have been taken by churches around the country in response to the urgent need to tackle climate change by reducing carbon footprint and campaigning for others to do the same. The awards are a means of gathering these initiatives together and acknowledging the imaginative and sacrificial work done by many hundreds of churchgoers.
By highlighting some of the best projects, the paper hopes to set good examples before others who might be inspired to follow suit.
The Church Times has run the awards once before, in 2007, when it uncovered projects that included a heating system which used underground piles, a campaign against an airport expansion, allotments in a churchyard, and a walking bus for schoolchildren to help reduce car emissions.
This year’s awards are jointly organised by Shrinking the Footprint, the Church of England’s national environmental campaign. The judges will be looking for projects that have made a significant difference in the past five years in buildings, outdoors, and in the community. In addition, there is an award for the most inspiring individual; and they want to support imaginative future projects.
There are five awards:
- Green building award: for projects that have significantly reduced the footprint of an existing building, or for a new building, either a church or an ancillary building. Prize: £1000
- Green congregation award: for environmental initiatives adopted by significant numbers in a congregation. Prize: £1000
- Biodiversity award: for outdoor projects, either on church land, such as churchyards, or elsewhere. Prize: £1000
- Green champion award: nominations are invited for an individual who has made a significant difference through his or her work for a cleaner environment. Prize: £1000
- Green futures: entries are invited from churches with projects at the planning stage, with the prize contributing to their fund-raising. The successful project is likely to combine inventiveness with practical action. Prize: £6000 so far*
THE panel of judges will be chaired by the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury and the C of E’s leading spokesman on environmental affairs.
Entries are invited from churches of all denominations. The qualifying period for any project or projects is the past five years. A church can enter one or more categories. A separate entry form is needed for each application. Photos and videos are encouraged: the Church Times intends to feature some of the entries during the judging period.
The deadline for entries is 2 July. Those shortlisted will be published in the Church Times in the summer. The awards will be presented in Lambeth Palace on 16 October.
* We are still seeking contributions for seed-corn funding. In addition, we are asking all entrants to contribute. When we ran these awards in 2007, we asked for a £5 donation to cover administration. This time, we’re waiving this fee, but instead asking for donations, of any size, to the Green Futures fund. We know that entrants who have completed their projects will want to encourage others just starting down the same road.
For details of how to enter, click here
The Church Times wishes to thank the following for their generous support: