Picture: L-R Susan Branch (Flowers administrator), Richard Bee (Engagement Director A Rocha UK), Steve Marshall (Caretaker), Bishop Nicholas, Canon Dr Robert Titley and Gary Price (Clerk of the Works)
On Sunday 18 March Canon Treasurer Dr. Robert Titley received a Silver Eco Church Award on behalf of the Cathedral. The presentation was made during the 10.30 Choral Eucharist at which the Bishop Nicholas, the Church of England’s lead bishop for the Environment, presided.
The Silver award is part of the Eco Church scheme created by A Rocha UK. This unique online survey allows churches to gauge their contribution to the environment and society, grading their responses accordingly. Last year the Cathedral was awarded a Bronze but subsequent eco-improvements, from switching to LED lighting wherever possible, improving recycling and generally smartening up the Cathedral’s eco-policies, have meant an upgrade this year.
The subject areas covered by the survey are wide-ranging, covering topics as diverse as Worship and Teaching, Management of Church Buildings and Land, Community and Global Engagement and Lifestyle. In other words, everything from how the Cathedral worships and what food it serves to the energy it uses, the wildlife that lives in and around the Close and even the water that flushes from the loos.
Richard Bee, Director of Engagement for A Rocha UK, who presented the award said:
“We are delighted that Salisbury has embraced our scheme and achieved the first Silver Award to be issued in 2018. The fact that they have bettered last year’s Bronze award demonstrates that they have risen to the challenge of marrying an ancient building, with its history and legacy, to the modern responsibilities faced by Christians today particularly towards their community and the environment.”
Commenting on the Cathedral’s Silver award, Salisbury Cathedral’s Canon Treasurer, Robert Titley said:
“The Cathedral is a work-in-progress as far as the Eco Church survey is concerned and we are keen not just to maintain current standards but to continually improve. What is important here is the wellbeing of our congregation and community, and the protection of the world that we live in. The Eco Church award is a way of monitoring our progress and making sure that we always strive to do better.”
The Right Revd. Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury, who is the Church of England’s lead bishop for Environmental Affairs said:
“It is important that we, as Christians, lead the way when it comes to caring for God’s creation. The balance of nature is a delicate one and it is our job as human beings to seek to do all we can to maintain that balance. Schemes like the Eco Church Awards are part of a much bigger, positive story that includes initiatives like Earth Hour 2018, which the Cathedral will be also be taking part in. Our earth is fragile and we must work to protect it.”
The Worldwide Fund for Nature’s Earth Hour takes place on Saturday 24 March at 20.30. As one of the participating organisations the Cathedral will be switching off all but essential lights for an hour. This symbolic lights-out event started in Sydney in 2007 and has grown to become the world's largest grassroots movement, working to raise awareness of environmental challenges and inspiring individuals, communities, businesses and organisations in more than 180 countries and territories to engage with the climate change debate.
To find out more of se what’s happening in your area or how you can take part follow this link: www.earthhour.org.
Those interested in learning more about becoming an Eco Church can find out more by following this link ecochurch.arocha.org.uk
For further information contact Marie Thomas on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01722 555148.