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Our Diocesan Office building – Clayton House at Walker Office Park on the edge of Blackburn – and the Bishop's House Office in Salesbury have both been awarded Bronze ‘Eco Church' status by A-Rocha UK, the charity overseeing the Eco Church process for the Church of England. 

The offices have been given the award in response to questions and criteria covering the following areas:  

  • worship and teaching 
  • management of buildings 
  • management of land 
  • community and global engagement 
  • lifestyle  

The news has been welcomed by the Diocesan Net Carbon Zero Steering Group, co-chaired by John Rodwell, volunteer Diocesan Environment Officer and Stephen Whittaker, Diocesan Secretary.  

The responses to achieve Bronze status for the Diocesan Offices were submitted by the Diocesan Net Carbon Zero Project Manager, Dave Champness. Dave built on work started in 2021/22 by Being Witnesses Manager, Joy Rushton and other colleagues.  

Dave commented: “It’s great to receive the award in recognition of all we are doing on our collective journey towards the whole Diocese being awarded bronze status.  

“Several of our churches have already begun the journey themselves but we need many more to take the first step and to register with A Rocha UK.  

“Once they have registered they can assess and then potentially amend their environmental practices against the bronze, silver and gold Eco Church standards.” 

Rt Rev. Philip North, Bishop of Blackburn, said: “Three of our churches … Clitheroe St James, Christ Church Lancaster and Hurst Green currently have silver status and a further eight have achieved bronze. 

“I am delighted that, through the hard work of our staff, our Diocesan Offices and my offices here at Bishop's House are able to join these churches in leading the way as we work collectively towards Bronze status for the Diocese.

"I encourage all our churches to consider registering as soon as possible for this important initiative.”  



Ronnie Semley, August 2023