Eco Church

at St James Church

“The Lord God place man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it.”

(Genesis 2:15 New Living Translation)

Eco Church is A Rocha UK’s  award scheme for churches in England and Wales. We have taken our first steps in identifying how we care for God’s earth. 

We have undertaken an online survey to find out how we score against five areas of church life:

·         Worship and teaching

·         Management of Church buildings

·         Management of Church Land

·         Community and global engagement

·         Lifestyle


Our current score:

A small working party are now assessing our Garden of Eden and how we can improve our care for God’s world here in Woodley.  We will be campaigning for global and local changes to protect the environment and encouraging all church users to alter their lifestyles to better care for the world around them both locally and globally.  Initially we will be looking into the areas of worship and teaching, land and lifestyle towards achieving a Bronze Eco Church Award.

New members are welcome to join us, as we continue to work towards our Bronze Eco Award. Please email us here

For more information see our Eco Church Facebook page .

Eco News:


At harvest-time we often think about the food we eat and how it makes it to the table. But we often don’t think about how the food we eat impacts the lives of humans, animals and the earth.  How can we improve our carbon food print relating to food?

Meat-free Mondays

Have you considered having one day in the week (and it doesn’t have to be a Monday!) where you eat meet free?  Eating less meat will reduce your carbon footprint.


Consider purchasing Fairtrade goods and food.  This is a simple way to make a difference to the lives of the people who grow the things we love.  You are also helping and encouraging sustainability because:

  • it helps to increase the standards of living for Fairtrade farmers and workers due to “The Fairtrade Minimum Price”
  • it helps encourage stronger businesses.
  • improves workers rights including safe working environments.
  • It helps environmental protection and climate change

Therefore buying Fairtrade can help to improve your carbon footprint.  Look out for the Fairtrade logo on foods.

At St James we are a Fairtrade Church serving Fairtrade coffee, and tea.

Food miles.

Consider your food miles – you could consider shopping at the local market in Woodley on Saturday’s or try Reading Farmers’ Market at the Cattle Market, Great Knollys Street, Reading RG1 7HD – first and third Saturdays of the month 8.30am to 12 noon. 

Eat more UK produce, there is less energy used getting the food to you the consumer and therefore this is better for the environment – look for the Red tractor logo, British Lion Mark on eggs.

Consider buying food with minimal or no packaging, therefore being more environmentally friendly.  Some supermarkets now offer recycled paper bags for your fruit and vegetables, and at Morrison’s customers would be rewarded for using their own packaging.  Consider taking you own reusable bags for your fruit and vegetables as well as reusable bags for your shopping.

Food waste.

Inevitably there is likely to be some waste from your cooking – peelings, bones, or perhaps you have cooked too much. From April 2019 Wokingham Borough council will be collecting food waste.  Very soon the council will be delivering you two waste food containers.  The smaller one you can keep on your worktop in the kitchen to collect your peelings, bones and food scraps.

The larger (23 litre) kerbside one will be for weekly along with the Blue bag and black box collections.   Full details on the Wokingham Borough Council Website

Have you prepared too much food, or your family not feeling as hungry as normal?  Consider freezing your left overs in individual portion sizes.  Then, occasionally, have a menu day of left-over meals form the freezer … minimal preparation and food and money saved!

Compost your (uncooked) food waste such as peelings, apple cores, broccoli storks, or invest in a wormery to make fertiliser from your waste. Wormery ideas!

Cook only the amount of food you will need for each meal time, portion control during preparation by weighing portions of rice, pasta etc. If you can’t scale down a recipe for 4 and there’s only two of you, freeze the spare two portions for another day, alternatively share with you neighbours.

Have fun with trying out one or more of these ideas during Lent!  For some more Eco Lent ideas try  the Lent Plastic Challenge  – Click here!

Future Plans:

Next month we will be looking at your reducing your carbon footprint in the bathroom.

Share your ideas with the group  – email us just click here! Remember to look at the St James Eco Church page on Facebook.

Local Environmental Events:

Sunday 24th March 10am -12.30pm or 2pm – 4.30pm Earley Litter pick meeting at Instow Road more details here!

Saturday 3rd August 2019 Earley Green Fair, Maiden Erleigh Nature Reserve

More information to follow……


Here are some links you might like to look up:

Shrinking the footprint 

The Church of England Environment Programme 

Plastic-less Living 

Earley Environmental Group 


Oakwood Forest Church 

Green Christian  

Climate Stewards 

Energy Saving Trust

Previous Eco ideas:

You can find an archive of previously published Eco ideas here.