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Church News

St Mary’s Church in Hale receives Bronze Eco Church Award

by Alex Collett

St Mary’s Church in Hale has received a Bronze Eco Church award from A Rocha UK.

The church has been recognised for its environmental practices and addressing the climate crisis.

The Eco-Church scheme aims to equip churches and individuals to look at their impact on the environment and to create a movement to help restore biodiversity at a local level.

St Mary’s Hale is one of six churches in the Avon Valley Churches team.

Bethan Davies, the Eco Church champion for St Mary’s Hale, said: “The Eco Church Award scheme brings together groups from across the community and channels concern for our planet into positive action.

“I’d especially like to thank our congregation for their continued dedication, and the energies of our many partners, such as Woodgreen Community Shop, the organisers of Hale Food Market, Hale House and Hampshire Fungus Recording Group.

They all have a stake in this award. Next we will be going for gold.”

To achieve the award, A Rocha UK asks the congregation to consider the environmental impact of the church and its activities.

This involves looking at the services, management of buildings and land, community and global engagement and personal lifestyle.

St Mary’s Hale has run snowdrop services with an ecological focus; reduced the energy and water consumption at the church; carried out a wildlife survey; as well as running a monthly Fairtrade stall at the local market.

During lockdown, services went online and reusable fabric face masks were sold to raise money for Ringwood Foodbank.

Each action from the weekly prayers to the ‘Hale’s Angels’ Choir car share scheme, the church says, shows consideration for the environment in all aspects of church life.

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