York Minster receives Silver Eco Church Award
York Minster has been awarded Silver status by a national environmental and ecological scheme for churches.
The award was presented to the Dean of York, the Very Reverend Dr Vivienne Faull at a Eucharist service held in the presence of the Archbishops of York and Canterbury and members of the General Synod of the Church of England.
The Eco Church scheme is operated by A Rocha UK – a Christian charity doing practical nature conservation and education with local communities and motivating others to care for the environment. Their main aim is to mobilise UK Christians and Churches to care for the environment as an everyday expression of their faith – for God, nature and people everywhere.
York Minster achieved Eco Church Bronze status in 2015. The Silver award recognises strategic and sustained action across the Minster to minimise and reduce the environmental impact of the cathedral’s activities. Actions include:
• In the Nave, replacing all halogens with low energy LED system which uses only a quarter of the electricity of the old system
• Fitting low energy bulbs throughout the cathedral and properties
• Installation of smart electricity meters to give us much better information about our energy usage
• Motion control lighting which automatically turns lights off when rooms are empty
• Assessing energy usage when sourcing new components and only buying from suppliers who are themselves committed to sustainability
• Buying 90% of goods locally to reduce fuel and energy transportation costs
• Fitting secondary glazing to properties to conserve heat
• Fitting new high efficiency gas boilers with modern control systems
• Evaluating water meters for our properties
• Increasing insulation in buildings where possible as recently at St William’s College.
Commenting on the award the Dean of York said:
“The improvement in position to the Silver award came not from a short burst of action but from recognising the many actions we have been taking and continue to take with regard to our sustainability and the impact we have on our planet. We are committed to reducing our energy usage, using sustainable materials and exercising good guardianship in all we do.”
The award was presented by Rich Bee, Engagement Director for A Rocha UK. Rich said:
“We are delighted that York Minster has achieved their Silver award, following on from the bronze award achieved last year. Such commitment to caring for God’s earth, particularly in light of the age and heritage of York Minster’s buildings, is what Eco Church was conceived to encourage. I look forward to hearing more of the Minster’s ongoing environmental work. Hopefully I will be back to present a Gold award in the future!”
The Gold Award is the highest accolade in the Eco Church scheme, and churches must complete the gold award criteria in all 5 areas of the Eco Church scheme:
• Worship & Teaching
• Community & Global Engagement