The St Asaph Parish Church (The Church of St Kentigern and St Asaph) is proud to have been awarded the Eco Church Silver Award.
It is the aim of Eco church to provide the link between environmental issues and Christian faith and to encourage us to be more aware of how our actions may impact on God’s earth. We are reminded of our responsibility and privilege to care for His creation.
In a time of unprecedented environmental stresses, the Eco Church programme provided us with a strong motivation and structure against which to critically assess our lifestyles and their impact on the environment. Once we accept the enormity of the challenges of climate change, we are encouraged to be more aware of and change our lifestyle choices.
The recent complete reordering of the church building allowed time for a full assessment of its energy requirements and use, and decisions were made for fitting the most energy efficient components. This ensured that it could still retain appropriate facilities to cater flexibly for its diverse uses as a parish church and a centre for community use, in the “greenest” possible way.
Making a medieval building energy efficient will always challenge any keen environmentalist, but the following fitments and actions assist in reducing waste and energy without devaluing the church’s future sustainability and character. For example, LED lighting has been fitted throughout with zoned and dimming facilities; applying insulation to all areas as far as is acceptable within a listed building; the fitting of water and waste efficient components with pressure reducing valves; draught-proofing throughout; zoned thermostatically controlled heating areas, and a rolling maintenance programme to reduce wastage, cost, and energy. The recycling of all relevant materials and food waste (from regular use of the kitchen) is common practice.
Moving forward – the Eco Church survey was an excellent resource, not only to allow an evaluation of what the church was already doing well and how it could and should improve, but its life-style audit also provided each of the congregation with a gentle reminder of how each and every one of us can contribute in our own way to help to reduce waste and improve sustainability. It has equipped the church with a commitment to greater action in addressing environmental issues and climate change; and to dedicate a programme of action through worship, prayer, and mission.