It was a breakfast of champions for the environment – as more than 50 Anglican bishops joined Christian conservationists to launch Eco Diocese.
Eco Diocese is part of A Rocha UK's Eco Church award scheme. Through its bishop, a diocese can work towards Eco Diocese status by meeting set criteria.
Conservation charity A Rocha UK and Anglican environmental initiative Shrinking The Footprint launched Eco Diocese at a recent breakfast event.
Key speakers were Church of England’s lead on environmental issues Bishop of Salisbury Rt Rev Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Dover Rt Rev Trevor Willmott and Bishop of Dudley Rt Rev Graham Usher.
A Rocha UK Churches and Theology Director Dr Ruth Valerio introduced Eco Diocese, Bishop Trevor talked about environmental work in Canterbury, and Bishop Graham explained the role of the environment in mission.
Bishops Martin Warner from Chichester, David Urquhart of Birmingham and Trevor Willmott all signed up for the scheme. Interest has been expressed by other dioceses – and denominations including the Methodist Church and United Reformed Church.
"I’m delighted we’re one of the first," said Bishop Trevor. "Many of our churches have already begun their eco journey. Now as a diocese, we can do the same. With this simple system, we’ll be able to make sure our duty to care for the environment is part of all we do."
More than 350 congregations have registered with Eco Church. "Green shoots of environmental care are springing up across the Church," said Dr Valerio. "Eco Diocese encourages those shoots to grow and bear fruit."
West London-based A Rocha UK – works for the protection and restoration of the natural world. Details of Eco Diocese can be found at http://ecochurch.arocha.org.uk/eco-diocese.
PHOTO: from left – Bishops David Urquhart, Birmingham; Trevor Willmott, Dover; and Martin Warner, Chichester – with Dr Ruth Valerio
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