RSS Feed

Rural church celebrates Silver Eco Church award

St James the Greater, Eastbury, is a small, rural church located in the Lambourn Valley Benefice. It is one of three churches in the benefice, and first registered for the Eco Church scheme in April 2021. It achieved bronze in March 2022, and now becomes the 21st church in the diocese to reach silver. 

Supported by Eco Church champion and Environmental Lead for Newbury Deanery, Deborah Phillips, the church has undertaken a wide range of initiatives to support creation care in a rural context.

In particular, they have focused on efforts to support biodiversity in their churchyard, allowing areas of grass to grow longer and using QR codes so that people can learn more about wildlife and biodiversity. They have built networks with local community organisations, and participated in the Lambourn Valley Big Green Weekend, working with the churches across the valley to host talks and activities, such as apple pressing, a foraging walk and an eco-display. 

They have also been considering how to make their church more energy efficient  – particularly challenging given their rural location and their current reliance on oil – and have had an energy audit as an important first step. 

Deborah commented on their achievement:

“We are delighted to have achieved the Silver Eco Church award, and find the Eco Church framework such a helpful resource for informing our mission to care for creation. None of this is possible without the collaboration of volunteers in the congregation at large with the full support of Ven Christine Allsop and Rev Julie Mintern."

Find out more about the Eco Church programme or view a list of registered and awarded churches on our interactive map

We would love to hear about your church’s Eco Church story – contact the Environment Team 


About Eco Church

Over 200 churches in the Diocese of Oxford have now registered with the Eco Church scheme, with 56 achieving bronze and 21 achieving silver. 

The Diocese of Oxford became a bronze eco diocese in July 2022 and is aiming to reach silver by 2026

Page last updated: Monday 30th October 2023 2:40 PM
Powered by Church Edit