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Eco Church

In 2013 the first steps were taken by Woking URC to become an “Eco Church”. This was followed, in 2015, by the formation of a Green Team to drive the change, and to use 'A Rocha UK’s Eco Church programme as a framework, with guidance on practical action to care for God’s earth.    


The Eco Church survey, with its suite of supporting resources, considers five key areas of church life as detailed below.

Achievements so far
2013 - 2023

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2015- Green team formed
2016 - Eco Bronze award
2018 - Eco SIlver award
2019 - Time is Now campaign
2020 - RHS Greening GB Grant
2021 - Church garden project
2022 - "Have a go eco" articles
2023 - Solar panel installation
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Our Future Plans

01

Completion of Solar Panels and Battery

02

Application for Eco Church Gold aware

03

First offseting payment

04

Minister's Electric car 

05

Net Zero by 2030

Sustainable Energy

Care4Creation Fund

Our target is to fundraise £9000 by end of 2024 to enable us to further our eco projects.

We welcome contributions to this using the link below. 

01

Worship and Teaching

Caring for creation forms a regular part of Sunday Worship, particularly in songs and prayers of intercession.

 

In June 2023 there was a mini-Worship series on Eco issues. To help with this focus a display stand was set up in the Forum.

The three services were:


  11 June “The Creators Purpose”

 This was a Parade service and included a challenge by Vicki Tringham, a member of the Green Team, that families should undertake the Creation Care survey 


18 June “Care for God’s Creation” was led by a guest speaker, Billie Anderson who is a Campaigns Associate with Tearfund and works closely with Woking Environmental Action (WEAct).  She challenged the church to sign up to The Plastic Free Pledge. (provide a link here to the Community and Global Engagement page “under development”)


25 June “Learning to Read God’s Book of Nature" which included interviews with three members of the church family involved in different ways with environmental issues.

Buildings

Management of  Church Buildings

The original church building was erected on this site in 1951 and a significant extension was added in 2012 with a new entrance and forum to make it a more welcoming space.

The recent extension was built to modern environmental standards with roof and wall insulation. The opportunity was taken at that time to double-glaze all the windows and add internal sound panels in the Sanctuary that have insulating properties. Over the last four years a programme of replacing non-energy efficient lighting with LEDs which was completed in 2022, the sole exception being the six pendant lights in the Sanctuary where no low energy solution has yet been found. Motion sensors now control the lights in corridors, toilets and storerooms.

In early 2023 a consultancy, Inspired Efficiency, carried out an energy audit and provide advice on achieving Net Zero by 2030. Using a thermal imaging camera, they identified areas where improved insulation would be beneficial.

In November 2023 the external cavity walls to the Hall were filled with insulating material and there are plans to insulate the loft space above the Sanctuary during 2024. The external walls to the Sanctuary are solid brick so further improvements are not proposed.

The roof above the Hall, most of which is 70 years old, is uninsulated and in poor condition. Plans are well advanced to replace this roof with one that meets current environmental standards. Together with a new system to improve controls for the many heating systems that are dependent on gas, this will complete the planned building improvements. The main gas-fired warm air heaters were replaced in 2019, and it is not considered sensible to replace them with a new system as yet.

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ChurchLand

Management of Church Land

The church buildings are on a plot of land bordered by two busy roads, a block of flats and a multi-storey car park. The eastern side of the car park as a shrubbery, a bed planted with lavender and a small area of grass that is being converted to wildflowers. The lavender attracts numerous bees.

The southern boundary is dominated by large mature yew trees. The grass underneath has two seats for use by the community and the occasional fox!

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To the rear is a small garden area that was redeveloped in 2022 with a grant and advice from RHS Wisley. This now has a raised bed and a healthy rhubarb bed, which provides fresh rhubarb stems to make desserts for the monthly lunch club. On the rear of the Sanctuary building, overlooking the raised bed, is a cross-shaped bug hotel that was built by a member of the church family and filled by the children. The youth have also built two planters out of an old pallet and two bird boxes.

Two water butts and a compost area are also now available and only peat free compost is used.

Lifestyle

Community and Global Engagement

One of the challenges Billie Anderson of Tearfund gave WURC during a Sunday Service in June 2023 was to sign up to the Plastic Free Pledge. One immediate action was to place a regular order for milk deliveries in glass bottles, replacing most of the plastic milk containers that were previously being used. There is a display stand in the Forum used to demonstrate progress made by WURC on its Eco Church journey.

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Members of the church family participate in the work parties organised by Woking People of Faith to maintain the varied habitats on Horsell Common. This work is directed by Horsell Commons Preservation Society

Community

Lifestyle

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