TWO local churches have been awarded for the work done to make their parishes more environmentally-friendly.

All Saints’ Church in Darton and St John the Evangelist Church in Staincross - which are in the vicarage of Fr Tim Stevens - have been awarded the Bronze Eco-Church Award, the first level in a national scheme designed to help churches ‘respect God’s creation’.

The two churches have been putting in plenty of work to get the award, including ‘twinning’ their toilets with those in third-world countries to provide clean sewage internationally, and encouraging congregation members to reflect on their environmental impact.

“It’s all about working towards looking after God’s creation better,” Fr Stevens told the Chronicle.

“Both churches signed up to the scheme a year and a half ago and we’ve been working hard towards these improvements.

“We’re having reflections in the parish magazine to look at the work everyone can do to protect the environment.”

All Saints’ Church has also been working with a team at Darton Primary, who have been creating bat boxes as part of the next stage of environmental work.

These boxes, along with bird boxes the church bought, will be installed at a celebration of the churches’ achievements next Thursday.

“This is just the first step,” Fr Stevens added

“The boxes will be the start us working towards the silver award and helping more animals find a habitat in the church grounds.

“Getting the bronze award is great but it’s not the end, we’ve got to keep working.”