Christ Church, Higher Bebington has been celebrating becoming the first church in the diocese to receive a gold Eco Church.
It is the highest accolade possible for a church in the award scheme from A Rocha, a Christian organisation which engages in scientific research, environmental education and community-based conservation.
The award comes after a lot of hard work and effort from the Incumbent, the Revd Mike Loach, the Eco team, the parishioners and people from the community, who have all made their own contributions to the task of improving the environmental impact of their church and associated grounds.
The award is of special significance for both A Rocha and Christ Church because the church is the 30th recipient of the award in the UK and it's also the 30th anniversary for A Rocha as an organisation. In their letter to Christ Church, A Rocha says: "A huge congratulations to you and everyone involved with the Eco team at Christ Church, Higher Bebington on reaching this significant milestone."
Prior to receiving their gold accolade, Christ Church had to achieve the bronze and silver awards which "were easy", in comparison, says Pam Hollinshead, Reader and Eco Church lead. The gold award has been several years in the making and is quite involved.
In the video below, Mike and Pam explain just some of the things they have done on their eco journey: there's the pond, to encourage newts, frogs, and other water-based wildlife; the fruit tree orchard; and the pile of seemingly discarded logs that provide ideal habitat for bugs and insects.
Mike is keen to point out that the award encompasses much more that just green spaces: "The obvious focus for Eco Church is often green spaces like gardens and thinking about the wildlife, but the Eco Award covers so much more than that."
Moving forward Christ Church aims to achieve net zero carbon by 2030, Mike says: "We're looking at how we heat our church in particular. Our community centre's got an air source heat pump but our church is still on a gas boiler so we're looking for solutions."