Trinity Methodist Church responded to the National Methodist Church in 2019 when it declared a Climate Emergency at its annual Conference.
Clitheroe minister, the Rev. Ian Humphreys set about forming a committee to address some of the critical climate issues raised, and with an impressive start to its climate change activities, Trinity Methodist Church has been awarded a prestigious ‘Bronze’ A Rocha Eco Church Award, a scheme for churches who want to demonstrate how they are caring for God’s earth in different areas of their life and work.
Archie Whymark, Trinity’s Climate Action Champion, said: “This award comes at the perfect time to coincide with World Environment Day, which highlights the importance of living sustainably in harmony with nature and the opportunities available to all of us to transition to cleaner, greener lifestyles.”
The church started by registering with an organisation called ‘Climate Sunday’ and celebrating a special Climate Sunday service in September 2021, with more than 5,000 other churches.
This was the culmination of a call by the Churches Together in Britain and Ireland to support the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow and for the government to take bolder action on climate change in this country.
Children at Trinity Methodist Church have been encouraged to learn about the natural environment and have built an impressive ‘Bug Hotel’ on the church grounds, as well as bird boxes.
Already a strong supporter of Fair Trade, members are encouraged to buy Fairtrade products to help farmers and artisans cope with the problems caused by climate change. Fairtrade products are regularly displayed and sold by volunteers at church coffee mornings and after some morning services.
One of the committee’s activities focuses on helping poorer communities overseas. Working with the charity ‘Toilet Twinning’, and having already twinned with ones in Uganda and the Yemen, the committee have latterly extended this to Zambia, enabling disadvantaged families to have access to toilets, clean water and learn about hygiene – a vital combination that saves lives.
Following a meeting with Jenny Griggs (senior adviser for Natural England) addressing the committee’s fantastic efforts so far, ‘Natural England’ will create a case study and film to showcase the Clitheroe church’s fantastic climate change actions to date.