Eco Church

Shrinking the Footprint

Eco Church is an interdenominational Christian environmental awards scheme for churches run by A Rocha UK. It provides tools to help churches weave their response to environmental issues into all they do, equipping them to care for God's creation through their worship, buildings, land, community engagement, and individual lifestyles.

In a time of unprecedented environmental stresses, Eco Church enables churches to respond to God’s mandate to human beings to care for his creation, by integrating environmental care throughout their church’s life and mission.

We thank God for the good things in our world, but we should also consider the impact mankind has on the environment and what we are going to do about it. With this in mind, an Eco Group was set up at St James's in 2007 to encourage and co-ordinate environmental awareness in our parish life, both as a congregation and as individuals in our homes.

Renewable Energy Supply

Part of this church's approach from its very foundation has been to look outwards. Why? God sent his Son because he so loved the world. This is in the spirit of our first vicar who expressed love for the world in his social action as well as his preaching. One example of growing towards the world is considering our responsibility for the environment in seeking a 'Green supplier' of electricity. The Parochial Church Council honoured its commitment to switch to a renewable energy supply in 2011. This was in keeping with one of the themes of the 2010-13 Mission Action Plan - 'Growing Towards the World'.

With advice from the Eco Group St James's electricity is now provided by LoCo2, a family-run British renewable energy and low-carbon electricity supplier, who produce electricity through a number of renewable technologies including wind, hydro and solar. "LoCO2 Energy is an independent, family-run British renewable energy and low-carbon electricity supplier. They are a young company with a fresh approach to providing electricity who believe energy should be green, cheap and delivered with prompt and cheerful customer service. Not only this but, through their sister business TLS Hydro, they own and operate their own hydropower stations throughout the UK." 

What St James's has done and is doing:

• Installed a new heating system to use our renewable energy more efficiently and to save wasting energy (new boiler shown below).
• Changed the majority of the light bulbs to low energy in the church and the church hall. In 2009 the twenty four lamps in the nave ceiling were replaced by fluorescent lamps using less than 20% of the power of the incandescent ones. As well as saving power, the cooler-running new lamps should help prevent further blackening of the ceiling.
• Monitoring the use of gas and electricity - a monthly table is kept and studied.
• Monitoring church hall heating during the Christmas, Easter and summer holidays.
• Improved the signage on the light switches in the church hall.
• Put up notices encouraging people to turn off lights.
• Putting a serties of 'Green Tips' and now 'Weekly Nuggest' in Spire Magazine to encourage people to reduce their energy use.
• Recycling paper, cardboard and plastic bottles in bins provided by the council in the church car park. They are used by the parish office, the nursery school and hall users. 
• Putting water-saving devices in the toilet cisterns.
• Holding car-free Sundays to encourage people to walk, cycle or car share when coming to church.
• Using Traidcraft goods whenever possible.

Silver Award presentation
Congratulations to the Eco Church Team on our Silver Award. The picture shows the award being presented by Helen Stephens from A Rocha.

The Siver Award

St James's won the Silver Award in the summer of 2022 after being awarded the bronze award the previous year.

Site of Interest for Nature Conservation

St James's churchyard is an open space and freely accessible. The London Borough of Richmond recognises it as a Site of Interest for Nature Conservation (SINC). It is managed by St James's Church, in collaboration with the borough, for biodiversity. Have a look at the results of the Churchyard Survey made in 2002.

Find out more

Churchyard Survey 2002 (external website)
Green ECO Tips


Revd Derek Winterburn on 020 8241 5904



The Fairtrade stall


The new boiler


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