Eco Church

Silver Award achieved!

We are delighted that the steps we have taken in the last 2 years to improve eco awareness and change practice in the church management have resulted in the Silver Award being achieved.

Church Meeting restates its commitment to Eco Church

The Church Meeting on Sunday January 29th 2023 reviewed the work so far in growing as an Eco Church. It was agreed this is an important part of our mission and we will continue to strive to improve and develop as individuals and as church in a village community to promote, innovate and take action to protect God’s world and to care for creation as an integral part of loving our neighbour and following God faithfully.

The spearhead group met on 6th February to assess our priorities going forward. Some ideas were explored and were taken to the Elders meeting. More information will be shared at the next Church meeting. Please pray for this important aspect of our work.

Creation Care – a way to assess your personal path on creation awareness

Thank you to everyone who has donated unwanted bras – another 400 are on their way to provide stock for stalls women run in African countries or for their personal use. April 2023

The Community Book Collection

We are now advertising the Book Collection in The Hub to the local community. It is a free service whereby local residents are invited to browse the books, sit and read over a coffee or borrow a book to read from home, returning it when finished so another one can be borrowed. We also may receive donations of books to add to our collection or share with Nursery and URChin children to read.

The Community Book Collection is open when The Hub is open: Monday and Wednesday 9 – 12 noon.

The Eco Congregation 5th Anniversary Service which includes Karen’s interview about Beacon Hill URC’s progress to Bronze Award and onwards

Climate Sunday

This is the Act of Commitment we joined together to say on Sunday 12th September 2021:

All: Lord of life and giver of hope, 

we pledge ourselves to care for creation, 

to reduce our waste, to live sustainably, 

and to value the rich diversity of life in your community of creation. 

May your wisdom guide us, 

that life in all its forms may flourish, 

and may be faithful in voicing creation’s praise. 

What is Eco Church about?

– Eco Church is an award scheme for churches in England and Wales “who want to demonstrate that the gospel is good news for God’s earth.” It is organised through A.Rocha UK, a Christian charity working for the protection and restoration of the natural world and committed to mobilising Christians and churches in the UK to care for the environment, in conjunction with Christian Aid. The link below will tell you more.

– Wessex Synod has registered to seek to become an Eco Synod and are encouraging churches in the Synod to work towards achieving an award.

– The process asks our church to look at and evidence our care for God’s world in our worship and teaching; in how we look after our buildings and land; in how we engage with our local community and in global campaigns, and in the personal lifestyles of our congregation.

– Eco Church Awards are available at Bronze, Silver or Gold level.

What is the approach the Elders are taking?

– Initially, a spearhead group was formed to draft responses to the survey required to be completed to assess where we are now towards an Award.

-The survey results were uploaded on the Eco Church web site so we know how we are doing. The questionnaire is available to view by anyone from the church, though you would need to register on the web site individually as a Beacon Hill URC ‘adherent’.

Who is involved?

The spearhead group is made up of Hugh, Karen, Robert and Bridget who compiled the survey used to assess our progress towards an award as an Eco Church.

What’s next?

We have been awarded a Silver award.

Now we have earned a Silver Award we will be thinking about whether the Gold Award is achievable. . This is a more challenging level to reach and we see this as a longer, step by step development period.

We also are looking at wider issues, so you may receive notifications about Petitions and lobbying through the church What’s App group. e.g. a number of us signed the Petition recently on Hedgehogs – calling on the Government to move hedgehogs to schedule 5 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 to allow them greater protection. Protect the UK’s dwindling hedgehog population before it’s too late. – Petitions (

How can you be part of this?

Eco Church us not only about how we manage our church operations, land and buildings but our lifestyle as individual Christians and in the collective form of being members of Beacon Hill URC. We will have a monthly focus to share with you and ask you look at how this works for you in increasing your personal care of God’s earth and resources.

An easy starting point:

Textile Collection

We have collection points at church for recycling items. Bridget co-ordinates this and is still collecting items to be collected. We have shared information about this on the Beacon Hill Community Facebook page since the recycling point in the local recreation ground car park was removed due to vandalism. This does generate a little income for the church as well.

Items you can contribute are: all household textiles, all age clothing, handbags and belts.

NOT COLLECTED: duvets, pillows and cushions

RNIB Stamp collecting for recycling

This Christmas, we are once again collecting stamps for the RNIB.

By collecting stamps you’re helping to break down the barriers that stop people with sight loss living life to the full. The RNIB accept all stamps: new or used, first or second class, foreign, first day covers, presentation packs or albums. Stamps are sold by weight and they raise £20 per kilogramme of stamps, so it’s a brilliant way to raise money.

Please make sure you TRIM stamps, rather than tearing them off the envelope! The RNIB asks for a 1 centimetre trim around any stamps……………

Tools with a Mission

See the separate section in the Ecochurch drop down menu for information on this and pictures of our collection, delivered now to the local collection hub. We are looking at another collection & possibly becoming a community collection point as a church.

URC Mission Council Resolution Information

Single use plastics

Sarah Lane Cawte, Convenor of Mission Committee, presented paper G1 in an amended form. The paper urges churches to reduce their use of single use plastics. The amendment was brought after consultation with URC Youth, and involves adding a second paragraph to the resolution:

Mission Council notes with alarm the huge increase in the use of disposable items during the Covid-19 pandemic, especially single-use plastics. While there are occasions during this pandemic when it is impossible to avoid the use of single-use plastic items, their use should be kept to an absolute minimum. They should also be carefully disposed of in a way that minimises their impact on the environment.            

Ms Lane Cawte noted that a guide to avoiding single use plastics in churches was available on the URC website. Download it here (PDF)

After discussion of the wording, the resolution was passed unanimously.