Clarence Uniting Church, TAS

Press Release: Clarence Uniting Church Wins Tassie First Environmental Awards!

All ages rejoiced at Clarence Uniting Church on Sunday, as the community celebrated the presentation of two prestigious Five Leaf Eco-Awards, making them the first church in Tasmania to be recognised for their environmental achievements.

The church received the Five Leaf Eco-Awards Basic Certificate and Eco-Worship Awards in recognition of their long term commitment to worship with ecological themes and eco-theology, and their work for the environment, including their energy efficient lighting, energy audit and efficiency measures, paper use reduction, Op Shop, participation in Clean Up Australia Day and the Season of Creation and congregational environmental actions.

Director of the Five Leaf Eco-Awards, Jessica Morthorpe, travelled to Hobart for the presentation. She said her warm welcome included lots of stories:

“Everyone had a story to share,” she said. “About what they were doing for the environment at home, about this church worshipping outdoors, about their op shop or the charity blankets they make from old jeans, and about retrofitting and insulating the manse and church for energy efficiency. Meanwhile the children were exploring the story of creation with Godly Play, and I shared a bit about what other churches around the country are doing for the environment.”

Grateful mention was also made of previous minister Rev. Dr. Paul Chalson, who inspired the church to begin their ecological journey, over a decade ago.

Rev. Chalson was very excited to hear about the awards, and said of the congregation, “They’re the champs and the fact of the work being continued is what really makes me happy.”

Inspired by the awards presentation, the congregation called for emails so they can further reduce the printing of their weekly news, and began talking about what they can do to earn the next award in the program.

“It’s great to see the energy,” Ms Morthorpe said. “It’s a pleasure and a privilege to be here to present these awards, and it’s particularly exciting that this is the first church in Tasmania to receive an award,” she added. “Hopefully this will encourage lots of other churches in the area to pursue an award and be recognized for their environmental efforts.”

The Five Leaf Eco-Awards are an ecumenical environmental change initiative for churches and religious organisations founded in 2008 to assist, inspire and reward churches for environmental action. The Five Leaf Eco-Awards are non- competitive, with churches completing task from a list of flexible criteria to earn each certificate. There are currently six awards of varying difficulty available. The Five Leaf Eco-Awards operate nationally and across denominations. More information on the Five Leaf Eco-Awards is available at

Photo caption:

Kathryn McGuiness, Chair of the Congregation, Rev. Ann Perrin, Minister of Clarence Uniting Church, Rev. John McRae of Climate Action Hobart and members of the congregation receive the awards from Jessica Morthorpe (second from right), Director of the Five Leaf Eco-Awards

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