Outline of the award process (what happens after you’ve submitted your survey)
Once you have submitted your application, each member of your church team will receive an email confirming your application has been submitted and noting its unique six-letter award reference. You can also find this application reference in the ‘Your award applications’ section of the Eco Church platform. An email is sent to your church leader to approve the award application. Once we have received their approval, you should soon receive news of your award.
If your application is more complex (e.g., you have answered ‘not applicable’ to the land and/or buildings category, or are applying for a silver or gold award) it may take us up to a month to contact you.
Once your award has been confirmed, each member of your church team will receive a confirmation email. This contains instructions to access your certificate and web badge for celebrating your award, to purchase an Eco Church plaque and/or make a donation as part of your award application. It will also tell you how you can share your Eco Church story to inspire others, and suggest some next steps.
Please note: When you begin working towards a new award level (e.g. if you have achieved your Bronze Award and are now beginning your journey towards a Silver Award), you will need to start a new survey for your next award application. You can review your previously submitted surveys as explained in the 'Finding a survey once you have submitted it for an award application' section of the user guide.
Your award applications
If you want to know how your award application is progressing, please look at the ‘Your award applications’ screen on the dashboard of the Eco Church platform. This will tell you if we are still waiting for your church leader’s approval or if your church leader has cancelled your application. If this is the case, then we encourage you to speak with your church leader about the reason for this and to identify the next steps for re-submitting your application together.
We cannot process your application until a church leader has approved it. You can also re-send your church leader's approval email if needed here.
Press the Manage award applications button, which will lead you to another page where you can check the status of your award.
Re-sending your church leader’s verification email
To re-send the approval email needed for your church leader to sign off your application, go to ‘your award applications.’ You will see the status of your application says ‘awaiting church leader approval.’ Click the blue 'Re-send email' wording on this screen.
Then press the envelope button to re-send the email to your church leader. Please check the email address is correct and ensure there is no extra information or spaces copied into the email address field. Please ask your church leader to look out for this email when you have re-sent it.
If you have checked that the email address is correct and your church leader has checked their spam folder but they haven’t received the emails, please contact the Eco Church team via our contact form. Select the ‘Applying for an award’ option under the ‘Area you need help with’ field and let us know your church leader’s email address.
Downloading your Eco Church certificate
Once you have received a confirmation email, you can view, download and print your certificate. On the dashboard of the Eco Church platform go to ‘Your award applications’ screen.
Use your six-letter award reference to identify which application your certificate will appear next to on this screen. In time, we will add the church name to this screen for easier navigtion. To view your certificate in English or Welsh, click either ‘English’ or ‘Cymraeg’ under the ‘Certificates’ section.
A new page will open with your certificate which you can download by, simply clicking on the image., It will then be saved in the downloads folder of your computer.
We encourage you to print your certificate, display it in your church and share it during your next church service to celebrate your achievement.
If your certificate doesn't look right (e.g. your church name or date seems incorrect), please get in touch with the Eco Church team via our contact form. Select the ‘Eco Church Certificate and Web Badge’ option under the ‘Area you need help with’ field and let us know the issue.
Likewise, if your certificate doesn’t appear on this screen (e.g. it’s a blank page), don't hesitate to contact us as above.
Please note: Only certificates for awards achieved from December 2019 onwards are available on the Eco Church platform. You will not see your certificate here if you achieved your award before this time. If this is the case, please check your original award email from when you achieved your award.
Downloading your web badge
Once you have received your award confirmation email, go to the ‘Your award applications’ screen on the dashboard of the Eco Church platform to view and download your web badge.
Use your six-letter award reference to identify which application your web badge will appear next to on this screen. In time, we will add the church name to this screen.
Click ‘your badge’ beneath the option for finding your certificates.
A new page will open with your web badge.
To download your web badge, click on the image, then right-click your mouse and select ‘Save image as’ from the list of options available. You can then save your web badge to your computer.
We encourage you to celebrate your award achievement and share your Eco Church journey on your website and/or social media pages. You might like to display the web badge on your church website - you'll just need to add a hyperlink to the Eco Church website so that when a website visitor clicks on the badge, they’ll be redirected to our website to learn more about Eco Church. Here is the hyperlink you will need: ecochurch.arocha.org.uk.
Making an Eco Church donation
You can donate as part of your award application to help us grow Eco Church and bring care for God’s creation into the heart of more communities
To run the Eco Church programme and keep it free to access, we suggest a donation of £125 for every church applying for an award. However, we know that finances vary greatly between churches, so any donation you are able to make (whether larger or smaller) will be most welcome.
Your award congratulations email will include information about donating, including a form to fill out to let us know of your intentions. Please make sure you complete this form and use your award reference for any donations relating to an Eco Church award application.
Purchasing an Eco Church plaque
Let visitors know about your commitment to caring for the environment by displaying a plaque in your church. Hand-made by the Grassmarket community project in Edinburgh, our plaques are made from recycled wood. Each plaque costs £96. You might like to read more about them and see photos here. Please note our plaques indicate the level of award achieved (Bronze, Silver, Gold) and do not display individual church names. Your church name will be on your award certificate.
To order a plaque, please follow the instructions in your award confirmation email that you will receive once your award has been confirmed. You will need to complete the form linked in the email and then arrange for payment via cheque or bank transfer. All the information you need will be in your award confirmation email.
Please confirm with your church before ordering and paying for an Eco Church plaque to ensure they definitely want to purchase one. We are a small charity with a small administrative team, so processing refunds for plaque requests made in error will take up to a month.
Applying for a Gold Award
For Gold Award applications, we also require additional information to accompany your survey in order to process your application. This includes evidence in the form of a written report, other supporting documentation (such as a copy of your land management plan), and an in-person assessment visit to your church. Upon receipt of your Gold Award application, we will contact you to discuss the written supporting evidence you should provide to help us understand more about your church context and all your activities as an Eco Church. We will also arrange for an Eco Church assessor to visit your church to see and hear all you’ve been doing to care for God’s earth. The visit will include a tour of your church building and land and a review meeting with your Eco Church team and a church leadership representative. The assessor will then make a recommendation regarding the granting of your Eco Church Gold Award, and we will inform you of their decision.
Once your award has been confirmed, each member of your church team will receive a confirmation email. This contains instructions to access your certificate and web badge for celebrating your award, to purchase an Eco Church plaque and/or make a donation as part of your award application. It will also tell you how you can share your Eco Church story to inspire others, and suggest some next steps. We will also suggest how you might celebrate and publicise your achievement for such an incredible milestone!
Considering going for gold in the next three months?
If you are considering going for a gold award soon, please fill in our contact form, select 'Applying for an award' and tick the box as appropriate to let us know you will be applying and that you are aware of the additional supporting information as referenced above.
Ta look at some of our Gold Awarded Eco Church application reports and videos celebrating their award for inspiration and guidance as to what your supporting evidence can look like:
For more resources, look at our Eco Church Playlist here.