Three Churches receive Five Leaf Eco-Awards

Port Melbourne Uniting Church ‘Harvest Festival’ celebration table.

Tony Lucas from St Luke’s Uniting Church Mount Waverley describes his congregation as “very concerned about environmental issues”. The church, which has taken action by hosting an online climate conference during lockdown, improving the energy efficiency of their lighting, heating and kitchen, and participating in climate marches, environment themed worship and recycling programs, is just one of three churches to receive prestigious environmental awards on the weekend.

Glen Waverley Uniting Church are another awardee. They installed a 30kwh solar system on the church roof in 2014, and have since used their experience and savings to actively support other congregations to install solar as well. They also use solar hot water on two of their manses, engage with young people and their community around environmental issues and have embraced youth led projects to reduce their carbon footprints and single-use plastic use.

Also recognised was Port Melbourne Uniting Church (South Port), who had their award re-affirmed after being the first church in Australia to receive Five Leaf Eco-Awards in 2009. The church has worked hard on continuing their sustainability journey in the intervening years, installing solar panels, energy efficient lighting and water tanks. The highlight of their work though is their Simply Living Community Garden. A community garden in the truest sense, the Simply Living Community Garden is alive with activities including preschool sessions, community compost bays, a community seed exchange, community cooking sessions with garden produce, a Make and Mend group, annual garage sale, workshops, talks and more.

These three churches are just the latest to receive Five Leaf Eco-Awards in recognition of their congregation’s efforts to care for the environment and fight climate change.

“This special presentation of awards to three churches in the Port Phillip East Presbytery of the Uniting Church in Australia was a special privilege,” says Jessica Morthorpe, founder and director of the program. “It highlights a small sample of the amazing things churches all around the country are doing for the environment. Concern about climate change is growing, and churches are taking an increasingly active role in community climate actions and reducing their own carbon footprints.”

Readers can watch the presentation recording and talk by Jessica Morthorpe here:

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