Community Connections


The earth is the Lord's and everything in it. Psalm 24.1

EcoChurch is a local initiative of St Mark's. It is about being committed stewards of God's creation. It's about responding to the current environmental crisis in our global village, by taking actions as a church and as individuals.

EcoChurch water tank

Robert Nelson, who managed the tank
planning, funding and installation

The project

2020 update

St Mark's has expanded its recycling centre with the addition of a 'blue bin' for the collection of 10c Return and Earn bottles and cans. This initiative is in conjunction with St George Recyclers.

2019 update

As part of St Mark's Vision 2020, we have adopted the Five Mark's of Mission, which many Anglican churches and organisations around the world used as the basis of their work. The fifth mark is:
'Protect, care for and renew life on our planet.'

During 2019 St Mark's reingorated EcoChurch by:
- establishing a collection for batteries to be recycled.
- installing photovoltaic panels to provide electricity for St Matrk's Hall.
- eastablishing a 'blue bin' for recycling of 'return and earn' containers through St George Recyclers.


EcoChurch is an environmental project for the parish and community that demonstrates our commitment to the stewardship of God's creation, provides connections with our local community, educates parishioners and community about climate change and other environmental issues, and facilitates action to reduce harmful environmental impact.

Environmental issues feature in the media almost every day. Two of the more significant ones are 'water' and 'greenhouse'. A growing number of Christians now understand that concern and responsibility for the environment flow directly from our faith. Many churches, particularly at their governing bodies' level, have considered environmental issues, prepared reports, and adopted resolutions – some have acted. This proposal is primarily about taking action – doing things to reduce both town water use and greenhouse gas emissions.

A project team has developed three strategies:

  • improvements in church buildings and a new environmental focus in our parish life
  • education and improvements in parish households
  • taking the experience to the broader church and the local community.

EcoChurch was launched and dedicated on Palm Sunday 2007, the day after 'Earth Hour' – an initiative of World Wildlife Fund and the Sydney Morning Herald to switch off Sydney's lights for one hour from 7.30pm on Saturday 31 March 2007 – "to show the world that Sydney cares enough about global warming to take action." As a special project, EcoChurch ran to World Environmental Day 2008. EcoChurch is now part of the norm.

The EcoChurch Project team comprises Bridget McKern, Bruce Cooke, Robert Nelson and Sandra Scott.

For further information contact Bruce Cooke telephone +61 (0)412 680 430.


The adopted visual comprises four segments representing:

  • the sun - source of life and energy
  • the leaves - biodiversity of living creation
  • the wavy lines - water and resources
  • the circle of arrows - reduce, reuse and recycle.

The quadrants are contained within a space forming a cross.

The logo is copyright, however St Mark's would be pleased to discuss establishing EcoChurch with other communities of faith.


Sisters on the Planet, an International Women's Day event celebrating inspiring women and climate change. An ecumenical gathering on 8 March 2009 supported by Brighton-Kogarah Uniting Church and Oxfam Australia. More ...

Images of EcoChurch highlights are included in St Mark's Photo Gallery.

Achievements to date:

  • Installed three 1.5kW photovoltaic solar power systems for St Mark's Church, The Rectory, St Mark's Pre-School Kindergarten. In addition, as part of the arrangement, PV systems were installed in 13 St Mark's members residences - June 2012.
  • Reduced plant watering needs by mulching the gardens in June 2010. Additional mulch has been arranged for distribution among members.
  • Replaced the four old 9 litre flush cisterns toilets in St Mark's Hall new dual flush of 3 / 4.5 litre types in July 2010.
  • Recycling centre expanded to include the collection of computers and associated equipment, which will be recycled by Psychiatric Rehabilitation Australia. PRA provides employment opportunities for people living with mental illness and psychiatric disability. One in initiative thjat PRA supports is an e-waste recycling centre - October 2009.
  • Sisters on the Planet - inspiring women and climate change. An Ecumenical celebration on International Women's Day in conjunction with Oxfam and Kogarah/Brighton-le-Sands Uniting Church 8 March 2009. Read newspaper article St George & Sutherland Shire Leader
  • EcoLiving Workshop on 'water tanks' for local community in conjunction with Kogarah Council 18 February 2009.
  • Report Card to June 2008
  • EcoChurch - A Model for Faith Communities
    presentation at A Moral Climate Conference 6 May 2008
  • St Mark's 'signed-up' for second Earth Hour 29 March 2008
  • 10,000 water tank installed January 2008, serving St Mark's Kindergarten
  • Report Card to December 2007
  • St Mark's represented in the Walk Against Warming 11 November 2007 coordinated by the Nature Conservation Council of NSW
  • Recycling centre established for printing cartridges, spectacles, magazines, postage stamps, candle wax, in addition to the long standing community clothing bin
  • Funding raised for a water tank to be used for St Mark's Pre-School Kindergarten toilet flushing
  • EcoGoals agreement distributed to members of St Mark's
  • Monthly education flyers distributed to St Mark's members
  • EcoChurch launch on Palm Sunday, the day after 2007 Earth Hour
  • St Mark's 'signed-up' for the first Earth Hour 31 March 2007

Bruce Cooke and Chris Albany represented St Mark's at the Faith Ecology Network series of seminars 'Climate Faith Change' held at Auburn in June 2007. The seminars explored the various faith responses to climate change. The Network is an initiative of the Columban Centre for Peace Ecology and Justice based in Sydney. It was wonderful to more deeply understand Aboriginal, Buddhist, Muslim, Baha'i, Catholic, Uniting, Hindu, Jewish, Anglican faiths and their understanding of the ‘world'. An Anglican response to Climate Change was given by Bruce Cooke at one of the seminars.


Recycling centre at St Mark's


Each month flyers are being distributed at St Mark's. They focus on one environmental opportunity and provide practical advice on 'how to' implement positive actions. The flyers published to date include:

Other brochures on water and energy efficiency, and installing water tanks available from the local Council, Energy Australia, and Sydney Water have also been distributed to St Mark's members.


Rate Your Home's Environmental Performance - use the NABERS home rating tool to find out how much energy and water your household is consuming. The tool is free and easy to use. The tool will tell you whether your home is a poor, average or a top performer. Visit


Sydney and church media have taken up the EcoChurch story - local group implementing actions and supporting WWF's Earth Hour campaigns.

  • June 2008 - Article and photo in local Council's 'Kogarahlife'
  • 28 March 2008 - Article and photo in 'The Sydney Morning Herald'
  • March 2008 - Article in 'The Melbourne Anglican'
  • Summer 2008 - Article in 'my family magazine'
  • 12 January 2008 - EcoChurch featured in Sky News 'Eco Report'
  • 21 December 2007 - EcoChurch featured in WWF 'Earth Hour' global email - Link
  • 10 November 2007 - Radio ABC (702 AM) Interview with Bruce Cooke by Simon Marnie - Transcript
  • 2 November 2007 - Radio ABC (702 AM) Interview with Bruce Cooke by Megan Spencer - Transcript
  • 1 November 2007 - Radio 2SM (1269 AM) Interview with Bruce Cooke by Karl Schubert - Transcript


Prayer and meditation resources for the world and the environment.


Anglican Church of Australia
Environment Working Group of the General Synod

Australian Anglican Environmental Network
An association of dioceses within the Anglican Church of Australia that have taken up their responsibility to the Fifth Mark of Mission by establishing Diocesan Environment Commissions

Sydney Anglican Diocese
Climate change from the Social Issues Executive

Anglican Diocese of Newcastle
Environmental Commission as a social justice issue

Anglican Church in Melbourne
Environmental Committee as a social justice issue

Australian Religious Response to Climate Change
A multi-faith network committed to taking the action on this most pressing issue of our time

The Columban Centre for Peace, Ecology and Justice
Committed to advancing these issues from a global and Christian perspective

NSW Government Climate Change website
Information on the initiatives of the NSW Government in climate change and greenhouse issues

Kogarah Council
The local council area, in which St Mark's is located, has a strong environmental focus.

The Climate Institute
An independent group that works with community, business and government
driving innovative and effective climate change solutions

WWF - Australia
Part of the WWF International Network - the world's largest and most experienced independent conservation organisation. The mission is to stop the degradation of the planet's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature

Earth Hour
Created to take a stand against the greatest threat our planet has ever faced, Earth Hour uses the simple action of turning off the lights for one hour to deliver a powerful message about the need for action on global warming. An initiative of WWF Australia and the Fairfax Media

Season of Creation
For the four Sundays in September (prior to St Francis of Assisi Day, 4 October) an ecumenical group proposes that we celebrate with Christ, the wonders of creation. This website includes liturgical resources for the season

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