Clitheroe church members take action to tackle critical climate issues

20 October 2022

Founded in 1868, Trinity Methodist Church sits in the heart of Lancashire’s Ribble Valley in the town of Clitheroe - within the shadow of Pendle Hill, famous for its historical connection with witches.

In 2019, Trinity’s minister, Rev Ian Humphreys set about addressing some of the critical climate issues raised at the National Methodist Church annual Conference. Archie Whymark, one of Trinity’s older members of the congregation volunteered to be their Climate Action Champion with the first activity being to register for the A Rocha Eco Church Award Scheme.

Archie Whymark, Trinity’s Climate Action Champion said “The first thing I did was contact three other Methodist Churches, who had already successfully achieved A Rocha Gold Eco Church Awards, to pick their brains. I contacted Romsey, Stratford upon Avon and Wellspring Wirksworth. I also contacted our own Clitheroe URC who had a Silver Award. They were all brilliant and very helpful.

“All the churches I spoke with seemed to have a supportive Minister along with a small group of committee members to head the activity up. Our Minister, Rev Ian Humphreys, is a great supporter and very positive. However, I thought finding volunteers to help would be a different matter. Nevertheless, I was astonished to have four ladies come forward straight away for our Eco Group. Since then, our group has grown to six, a dog plus myself. The members are all brilliant and I would be lost without them.”


Trinity Eco Group ( L to R: Eve and Sandra Brooks, Lisa Bridgeman, Archie Whymark, Carol Baird, Anita Kellington, and seated Becky Walsh and Fiona Tomlin)

With an impressive start to their climate change activities, Trinity Methodist Church were awarded their A Rocha Bronze Eco Church Award in April 2022, spurring them on their eco journey to achieve Silver in the coming months.

Some of the highlights of Trinity Methodist Church’s journey to their A Rocha Bronze Eco Church Award include:

  • A successful ‘Climate Sunday’ celebration service in September 2021 in support of COP-26
  • Completion of an in-house one-page Climate Action Survey by the Church Council
  • An impressive bug hotel built out of pallets and house bricks by the Sunday School ‘Treasure Seekers’
  • The ‘twinning’ of three church toilets with ones in Uganda, the Yemen and Zambia
  • Regular eco church news updates in the weekly Church Notices
  • Eco contributions to the church website and Facebook page
  • The formation of an Eco Church WhatsApp group
  • A monthly climate action prayer letter
  • The use of Fairtrade refreshments after church services
  • A new relationship with Natural England for help and advice.

Archie Whymark continues “To achieve a Silver award, we need to maintain what we did last time and increase activity. We have already held a successful ‘Caring for God’s Earth’ service along with a coffee morning to raise money for twinning our remaining three toilets. We have every hope that, provided we continue to retain the support of our Minister and the sympathy of our congregation, we should achieve a Silver award by next Summer.”


Twinned Toilet in Zambia. Damales Kalenga Mwania and her daughter Monica (age 14) live in Chimbilwa village, Choma District (Photo: Tom Price/Toilet Twinning)

Title photo: Jenny Griggs of Natural England visit in front of Trinity Methodist Church (L to R: Archie Whymark - Climate Action Champion, Jenny Griggs – Senior Advisor at Natural England, Carol Baird - Trinity Hub Manager and Lisa Bridgeman - Trinity Eco Group Member)