Just two weeks after Helston was urged to declare a "climate emergency" a church in the town has become only the second in Cornwall to achieve a national eco award.

Members of Central Methodist Church Helston were presented with a bronze award from the Eco Church Scheme during Sunday's service.

The church has also achieved bronze in the county-run Green Church Kernow scheme and both awards were handed over at the weekend by Luci Isaacson, diocesan environmental officer.

Rev Andrew Hill, who led the service with the help of the church's eco team, said: "There has been a lot of interest and involvement from all ages within the church.

"In 2019 we want to continue this work further and are aiming for silver awards. In particular we hope to partner with other groups in the wider community. The more people involved, the better.”

The schemes aim to encourage churches and their members to enjoy and care for the natural world.

To achieve the Green Church Kernow bronze award Central Methodist had to complete three projects from three categories: Christian living, community and resources.

This saw the church appointing its own eco team, registering as a Fair Trade church and setting aside one Sunday to celebrate the environment.

Church members have taken part in a community beach clean, now offer recycling facilities at the church and run an eco-column in the church magazine.

Where possible light bulbs in the church have been replaced with LED or low energy bulbs, the church has switched to a green energy provider and has installed water meters.

The Eco Church Scheme asked for similar actions in five categories - worship and teaching, management of church buildings, management of church land, community and global engagement, and lifestyle - with many of the projects satisfying both awards.

More than 100 people of all ages were at Sunday's service to see the awards presented, including guests from Transition Helston. Only last month members of the group had attended the January meeting of Helston Town Council to urge them to declare a "climate emergency" and make the town carbon neutral by 2030.

Luci told the congregation about her work across Cornwall encouraging churches and community groups to play their part in tackling pollution and limiting climate change.

The Central Methodist Church council agreed to try for the awards last autumn and will now continue working towards the next stages.