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A Rocha UK: helping churches to go green

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A Rocha UK: helping churches to go green

In 2021, Benefact Trust awarded a three-year grant of £150,000 towards A Rocha UK’s Eco Church project. Over the first two years, the project has exceeded all expectations and now has more than 6,300 registered Eco Churches across the UK, beating its original target of 5,000 by the end of 2023.
Eco Church is a vision shared by A Rocha UK and major denominations to make churches more aware of their impact on the environment and take steps to make a positive contribution. There is a real need to move fast and help the Church to meet the urgency and scale of the environmental challenge.
The programme launched in 2016 and provides a free, comprehensive, and practical framework for churches to engage with and work towards a Net Zero target. Of the 6,300 registered Eco Churches, 2,697 have achieved a bronze, silver, or gold award in their efforts towards reaching this goal.
Our grant has helped Eco Church to expand its impactful work into Wales and the North of England with the recruitment of two regional Eco Church Officers, promoting and supporting the project in areas where development has been slower. Their work has led to significant growth in registrations for the programme.
Funding has also meant that A Rocha UK has been able to develop a suite of helpful resources covering five key areas where environmental impact can be considered: Worship and Teaching, Building Management, Land Management, Community and Global Engagement, and Lifestyle. These resources are free to any church who wants to make a difference, no matter how small.

Hurdles on the road to Net Zero

The progress has been incredible, but with growth it's natural to expect stumbling blocks along the way. Expansion into Wales has been made harder by geography, it takes time to reach scale in major cities and its small, rural and dispersed communities. However, A Rocha UK and the dedicated Eco Church Officer are making great steps.

What to expect in the next year

As we move into the final year of funding, A Rocha UK has big plans. The organisation will be continuing to work towards a goal of at least 25% of churches in England and Wales engaged in caring for nature. There will also be a refresh of the website to include more Welsh specific content and examples of how individual churches are going green.
Find out more about A Rocha UK’s Eco Church programme. If you’re looking for funding for a project, find out which grant is right for you.
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