We are the second Synod, nationally to achieve this award and I could not be more proud. What makes me most proud of this achievement is the teamwork that we showed throughout this journey. When I collated all the information of the past 5 years  in order to apply for this award, all I could visualised was the Body of Christ—- The wholeness of the Body of Christ where everyone plays a part and share their God’s given gifts -The Eco Network Body

The encouragement of our Synod Clerk, Tim Hopley, and the support of the whole of  the Synod  were phenomenal.  Mike Hart our Transformation Director and Treasurer,  made sure that all  our investments divest from fossil fuel.  Rev Mike Aspinall  (Property Consultant) concentrated on buildings. Claire Macintyre (Synod deputy Clerk) and Kerry Later (Office Manager) coloured the Synod Office green and supported us with the Eco Newsletter. Rev Kate Gray (former Green Apostle) supported us with resolutions, policies and activism. Rev Dr Rosalind and NoCo engaged us with further education and Leo Roberts (CYDO), Gina Gibson and all the churches who engaged with our young people. As part of our Eco Network we have Area Eco warriors,  Rev Kate Hunt, Cathy Chapman, Liz Delafield,  Craig and Kareena Tipler who support local churches in the different areas. Finally, the 25  Eco Churches and all the other churches who are on this journey.

The act of building a better, more sustainable world is kingdom building: What we do  together in the present—by painting, preaching, planting,  singing, sewing, praying, teaching, toilet twinning,  campaigning for justice, writing poems, caring for the needy, loving our neighbour by treading gentle on God’s creation—will last into God’s future. They are all part of building God’s kingdom. We should not under estimate the seeds we sow.

To celebrate this milestone, we gave each church a packet of seeds from Commitment for Life as an  encouragement to keep on growing on this Eco Journey.

Rev Daleen ten Cate (Green Apostle for the North Western Synod)

We are delighted to see so many churches making creation care a central part of their church life and mission. We are striving to develop this further and challenge every church in our Synod (and beyond) to join our Eco Church journey.

Liz Delafield (Green Apostle for the North Western Synod)

The Eco Synod Award has encouraged us to look beyond simple carbon disinvestment but to explore constructive measures which use our resources to invest in new “green” technologies and reducing energy usage across our resources.

Mike Hart (Eco Network North Western  Synod,  Transformation Director and Treasurer)

Our Synod is huge geographically – with an enormous range of landscapes and environments and communities. It is great that we have this award and inspiration for all of us – to encourage those who are taking first steps in eco and to celebrate those who are blazing a trail.

Rev Kate Hunt Eco Network North Western Synod, Cumbria

I am so pleased that North-Western Synod has reached this milestone on their eco journey. It is a reflection of the commitment and passion of a superb team, the tremendous support of the synod office and the dedication of URC congregations throughout the synod to ensure that caring for creation is a key part of their mission. I look forward to all of our synods reaching the ‘Bronze’ level award and beyond in the coming months and years. The URC has a target of being net zero in its carbon emissions by 2030, and Eco Church (Eco-Congregation in Scotland) and Eco Synod are a vital part of our strategy to reach this. Find out more at urc.org.uk/greenerchurch

Roo Stewart Programme Officer for Church and Society | The United Reformed Church


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