About Eco Church
Like around 6,000 other churches of all denominations in England and Wales, St Mark's has signed up to the Eco Church scheme run by the A Rocha charity https://ecochurch.arocha.org.uk/.
This is in line with the Church of England's Fifth Mark of Mission, which is ‘To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth’ which is shortened to the word Treasure. The aim of the scheme is to take actions that positively affect the natural environment. The scheme takes the form of a questionnaire with question on all sorts of topics, events and activities. Answers are scored, such as from no to once to regularly, with higher points for more regular activities. The points build up and there are levels of Bronze, Silver and Gold. St Mark's started the scheme In January 2020, achieved the Bronze level In January 2023 and the Silver level In September 2023.
The survey is split into sections, and we have a different person leading each section working as a team. The sections are Land, Buildings, Worship and Teaching, Community and Global Engagement, and Lifestyle.
Chester Diocese also aims to be an Eco Diocese and requires a proportion of churches to be registered and achieve an award. In September 2023 the Church agreed an Environmental Policy. In addition, the national Church of England has set 2030 for the date to aim to be Net Zero Carbon. That is, reducing the emissions of the church to zero, or where they cannot be eliminated, make up the shortfall using carbon offsetting such as plating trees to absorb the additional carbon emitted. At St Mark's our Environmental Policy contains the targets for each year, measured in around April for the previous calendar year: We achieved the 2022 total by setting the heating times to only when the church was used. There is an action plan controlled by the Fabric Team in hand to enable further reductions.
If you are willing to join us as part of the Eco Church team, as a church member or not, contact the church office. We hold occasional events where people can join in (e.g. monthly Saturday mornings for gardening and cleaning, apple pressing), so keep an eye out on our ReMarks page for mention of them.