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Manchester Cathedral awarded Bronze Eco Church Award

First published on: 14th December 2023

Manchester Cathedral has been awarded a Bronze Eco Church award by the environmental charity, A Rocha.

The cathedral has a long history of engagement with environmental issues - its heating comes partly from ground source heat pumps and it has recently undertaken a programme of changing the main lighting to LED lights.

Its interfaith work in the area, through the Our Faith Our Planet group, has led to greater and wider discussion on the theme of creation care and has brought leaders of many faiths together with civic leaders, in order to develop meaningful partnerships.

Dean Roger Govender said: "We are delighted to receive the A Rocha UK Bronze Eco Church award. This reflects our commitment to creation care and our ongoing work with faith and civic partners across Greater Manchester."

The Eco Church framework gives churches and cathedrals a pathway to help them live out the missional call to act to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth. Participation in the awards scheme is part of the wider Church of England Net Zero strategy, and in the Church of England Routemap to Net Zero, Cathedrals are asked to achieve Bronze status by the end of 2023.

To gain the Eco Church award, a survey is completed which indicates the level of progress obtained. Manchester Cathedral's engagement in worship and teaching was particularly strong, with its bee hives and the recent installation of cycle racks also helping it to reach Bronze status.

The cathedral is hopeful to achieve Silver by the end of 2024. To help with this, it has recently set up a Sustainable Cathedral Group which meets quarterly and is chaired by Revd Grace Thomas, Cathedral Missioner, who is also the Diocesan Environment Officer. This group will look at how they manage the building and land and also how they develop staff, congregation and visitor involvement with this vital cause.

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