Eco hat-trick as Bradford Cathedral wins environment award

Canon Mandy Coutts of Bradford Cathedral is pictured receiving a third Eco-congregation award on behalf of the cathedral from the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Geoff Reid at the City Carol Service.

Bradford Cathedral was presented with its third Eco-congregation award under an award scheme run by Christian environmental charity ARocha. The award is renewable every three years and five years ago, the cathedral became the first in the north of England to receive Eco Congregation status for its efforts to be green and reduce its carbon footprint.

The cathedral is regularly assessed on its commitment to the environment in worship, practical actions within the buildings and encouragement of others to live a more sustainable lifestyle. 

Among the innovations introduced at the cathedral is a digital screen on an internal wall which alerts regular worshippers and visitors to how much solar power has been generated as well as the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) saved.

“Having a visual display makes a difference,” says Canon Coutts, "People can come and see what we are about - they can see the display straight away as they come in.”

Highlights of the last three years have been an annual celebrations of Fairtrade Fortnight, introducing new products to a weekly Fairtrade stall, exploring cafe church worship and meeting with other churches, such as York Minster, to share experiences.

Emma Towers, part of the Bradford Cathedral Eco-group, said, “The assessors particularly commended our adoption of a Creationtide season, the installation of a new boiler, embedding environmental principles into all aspects of consumables and closely linking environmental stewardship with local social justice issues (e.g. waste food and food poverty).

“We are always looking for new ways to look after the planet and will be using the new Eco Church award as a guide to what we can do next. Our next major project is looking into how we can offset our paper usage.”

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