Becoming an Eco Church

Becoming an Eco Church

On this page you will find resources to help you live a more eco-friendly life, and while some changes are easier to make than others, all changes make a difference. This page also contains information about what Wells Cathedral is doing to become an Eco Church, having recently achieved the Silver Eco Church Award.

Latest updates:

June 2023

Over the past year the Cathedral has been building links with other organisations involved in working to improve our environment and combat climate change. The Wells Environment Network, chaired by Simon Nash has been extremely helpful in both promoting and sharing ideas. On July 1st there is to be a Wells Environment Network Event at the Annex in Portway which will showcase much of the ongoing work. The Cathedral is working towards becoming carbon net zero, increasing the use of LED lighting which in some cases requires change to the infrastructure and investigating alternative forms of energy. We are looking actively attempting to reduce wastage and paper usage and to increase the use of recyclable goods. The biodiversity of the precincts has been increased by creating wild areas in the Camery Garden and by increasing the size of the Meadow area under the Cedar trees in the Liberty. We are also actively investigating the installation of Swift Boxes and have undertaken surveys of bats and other species in Vicars Close.

Mary Bide, Sub Dean


September 2022

On Sunday 5th September 2022, along with many churches throughout the land, the Cathedral held a service focussing on Climate Change. The guest speaker was the Bishop of Buckingham, the Rt Rev Alan Wilson, who outlined the stark reality of climate change and explained Isaiah’s vision of a new world where everything was in harmony. It was followed by a discussion with a panel of speakers: Adrian Tait from Somerset Climate Action Network, Shelly Easton from Somerset Wildlife Trust, Zoe Meredith from Wells Cathedral School and David Maggs, Diocesan Director of Mission.

The discussion was hugely positive, emphasising what is and could be done. Do have a look at the Somerset Climate Action Network website. Perhaps you or your organisation could be part of the network of people working to ensure that Somerset is playing its part. The Somerset Wildlife Trust is doing outstanding work on mitigating the effects of climate change. They have introduced an exciting new App called Somerset Trails — Adapting to Climate Change on the Somerset Levels  which will make your country walks really informative. Zoe Meredith reminded us of the importance of staying positive and doing whatever we can , such as buying second hand goods, travelling less, and David Maggs built on this with a challenge to reduce our consumption of fuel, meat, travelling etc by 20% over the year. For the Cathedral perhaps the greatest challenge came from Shelly Easton who reminded us that Christian Church worldwide is a huge community and, as such, could be (should be?) the most powerful force for change.

Mary Bide, Sub Dean

As a Cathedral we are committed to becoming carbon neutral and environmentally friendly. The Earth is not ours to plunder or despoil, and we have a duty to care for all the plants and animals that live alongside us. Through our careless use of fossil fuels, our agricultural methods, and our consumerism, the Earth’s  climate is changing. This is already causing the poorest nations to suffer and many species to be under threat of extinction. If we do not change, the Earth’s temperature will rise to a level which will cause mass extinctions and food and water shortages. Care for creation is central to Christian mission, therefore each one of us has to do whatever is in our power to reduce our carbon footprint and promote the health of the planet.

Over the past year we have looked at all areas of Cathedral life including our energy usage, the products we use and how the outside areas could be used to promote biodiversity. There is a great deal still to do, we have now been awarded a Silver Eco Church Award from A Rocha but our aim has to be Gold! We have been engaging with local environmental groups such as the Somerset Wildlife Trust and encouraging the congregation and visitors to the Cathedral to become aware how they can make a difference.

60 steps towards being green:

As Christians we believe that we have been given the responsibility of caring for this earth, of protecting the poor and vulnerable and or working for justice. Faced with a problem as huge as climate change it is tempting to believe that there is nothing we can do, but our faith teaches us to have a dynamic active hope.  If each of us makes some simple changes it will make a difference. So here are a few ways in which we can all help. It is not an exhaustive list, and anyone who wishes to become more involved can join organisations or lobby businesses and government, but we hope that you will find these simple suggestions a useful place to start. Please click on the photo to read the 60 steps.

Mary Bide, Sub Dean

Wells Cathedral 60 steps towards being green

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