In December 2016 Park United Reformed Church received a Bronze Eco Church Award which recognises the commitment made by the church in addressing the issues of climate change and care for the environment. ‘All of us have a responsibility to protect the environment for future generations,this award recognises a wide range of actions that we have taken over the past six years to reduce our carbon footprint, since our previous Eco congregation award.’
The church is working towards achieving a Silver Award and in April 2017 the church updated some toilet facilities by installing waterless urinals, which will reduce water consumption considerably. A phased replacement of low energy lighting with LED technology has also begun, which will reduce electricity consumption further. In the church gardens a water butt is being installed in order that rainwater can be used to water plants rather than tap water.
In April 2016 we were pleased to support the action group ‘Time to Cycle’ in their cycle ride from London to Foss-y-Fran in Wales, as part of a global wave of mass actions which is targetting the world’s most dangerous fossil fuel projects. The campaign aims to keep coal, oil and gas in the ground and accelerate the just transition to 100% renewable energy. Across the world, people are showing the courage to confront polluters where they are most powerful— from the halls of power to the wells and mines themselves. We pray for all those working peacefully for a more environmentally friendly world.
Local MP Rob Wilson presented Park URC with their first Eco-congregation Award in June 2010. See local press http://www.getreading.co.uk/news/s/2095401_green_award_for_ecochurch Rob also saw the new solar panels that are generating electricity – you can see the installation using our photo diary created by Les Dray at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lesdray/sets/72157626868941176/
Park United Reformed Church is committed to reducing its impact on the environment. Park United Reformed Church members agreed to install £30000 solar panels on the church & church hall roof and to install a £50000 wood pellet boiler. (pictures of the boiler work can be found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lesdray/sets/72157626744295907/ )
All of us have a duty to protect the environment for future generations this is a big step for us as a church and a big investment for the future. The solar panels should continue to generate green electricity for 25 years and the wood pellet boilers should keep the church and our community buildings warm for at least 25 years. Both projects reduce our carbon emissions and we want to encourage other fellowships to make these kinds of changes for the sake of the planet. We are delighted to have been able to offer advice and support to churches in Reading, Wokingham, Canterbury, Godalming, Christchurch and Saughtonhall URC in Edinburgh, details of their Eco-congregation award can be found at http://www.saughtonhall.com
We believe in a creator God, it is important that we play our part in being good stewards of God’s creation. The churches should be leading the way in protecting the planet for the sake of all God’s people. Christ calls us to take action and to be salt and light in our communities, this is part of our response to the challenge of good stewardship. Local press coverage June 2010 http://www.getreading.co.uk/news/s/2072949_let_there_be_light_church_gets_power_from_on_high )
More information about Eco Church can be found at ecochurch.arocha.org.uk.