Bishop Street is an 'eco-congregation'.
Eco-Congregation is an ecumenical programme helping churches make the link between environmental issues and Christian faith, and respond in practical action in the church, in the lives of individuals, and in the local and global community.
In England and Wales, Eco-Congregation has recently given way to Eco Church. Click here to visit their website.
Below are the conclusions of an Eco-Congregation check-up undergone by Bishop Street.
Worship: we 'occasionally' include environmental concerns in our worship, including in special services, eg Harvest. We do praise God the creator, and give thanks for the gift of creation. We do say sorry for the harm done to the environment, and pray for the healing of creation. The wonder of creation and care for the environment are 'regular' themes of our hymns.
Theology: we have access to resources and organise some events that include environmental issues, with potential to develop our teaching & preaching programmes in this area.
Children: The Sunday school and all age worship sometimes includes environmental themes, with potential to develop.
Church Property: We were able to tick quite a selection of ways we already take the environment into account (eg low energy light bulbs, timers for heating, clean windows to maximise sunlight, auto-turn-off taps, but could also consider monitoring our energy consumption more closely, better thermostatic controls, draft excluders, better insulation, replace cracked window panes, collect rainfall for watering plants, and use sustainably grown and reclaimed timber in construction.
Church Management: We were able to tick that we have an ethical investment policy, use fairly traded, recycled and local products, use crockery rather than disposable cups, collect items for recycling, and hold sales of second-hand items — although there is potential for more in all these areas.
Church Land: our external land is very small, but within that we avoid harmful chemicals, and have a small range of native plants, and attractive planting.
Personal Lifestyle: We have at various times promoted awareness of green issues, and could do more with this, along with publicising green tips in the notices, and encouraging recycling.
Community Outreach: we try to encourage our building users in environmental concerns, and draw on links that members have with environmental organisations. As well as developing these, we could consider establishing links as a church with local/community organisations, to share our environmental ministry.
Overseas Concerns: We support the work of Christian development agencies, participate on One World Week, and promote fair trade. We could also consider linking with an overseas church or community to explore environmental issues, and could support the work of international conservation and environmental agencies.