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SPANISH CHURCH FINALISTS IN GREEN AWARD CONTEST

Members of Campoverde Church, part of the Torrevieja Chaplaincy in southern Spain, have made it to the finals of the Church Times environmental awards competition due to be announced in October.

They designed and built a garden on a derelict eyesore site next to the Church and enlisted the support of the whole community, businesses, the and the personal involvement of the Mayor. Every aspect was developed and managed by the Church including the garden design, fundraising and sponsorship as well as encouraging and involving the community in constructing and planting the garden.

The finished facility is now used widely for refreshments after church and for occasional outdoor services. It is a place of tranquillity for quiet reflection with memorial "Memory Stones" placed around the base of the cross. The work also attracted people who do not normally attend Church and helped to show that the Church is a key and relevant part of the village.

The Church Times Green Awards aim to celebrate the remarkable efforts made in recent years by individuals and congregations to offset the damage being done to the earth and to set good examples before others who might be inspired to follow suit. The full list of finalists is:-

Biodiversity award: Bradford Cathedral; OASIS Community Church, Worksop; St Asaph’s, Denbignshire; St James’s, Finchampstead; St John’s, Sharow.

Green Building award: Gloucester Cathedral; Holy Trinity, Bradford on Avon; Holy Trinity, Tulse Hill; St Wenn’s, Bodmin.

Green Congregation award: Garden design and development team (Campoverde Church, Spain); Inverkip Church Eco-group; St Catherine’s Environment Group (St Catherine’s, Burbage); Shildon Alive! Guerrilla Gardening Team (St John’s, Shildon)

Green Champion award: Martyn Goss (diocese of Exeter); Br Hugh Cobbett SSF (Hilfield Friary); Victoria Gilbert (St Catherine’s, Burbage); Suzanne Dalton (St Chad’s, Far Headingley); Judith Allison (St John’s Methodist Church, Settle).

Green Futures award: Baildon Methodist Church; Hamutua Quarterly Meeting Friends Church, Kenya; Sheddingdean Baptist Church; St Mary the Virgin, Cannington.

The winners of all five awards will be announced at Lambeth Palace on 16 October.