Eco Church at St Marys!
On 28th April 2019 we launched Eco Church at St. Mary’s – with some inspirational sermons from Graham Day!
Eco Church is an initiative run by a Christian charity called A Rocha to help us focus on how we can each care for God’s wonderful gift of creation and our fellow human beings.
Our small team of spent a few months looking at what environmental activities we are already doing at St Mary’s and how we can improve.
We completed the first step which is the on-line Eco Survey*** about how we are caring for God’s earth in different areas of our life and work. The answers provided a snapshot of where we are. For example, we already collect some recyclables from the hall, but we could collect a lot more. We already have some native wildflowers in the graveyard, but more could be done to encourage these.
The results were presented at our Eco Church launch along with displays, stalls, children’s activities and tours demonstrating how we can improve recycling, energy efficiency, use more renewable energy, buy fairly-traded goods, look after the churchyard, encourage wildlife and many more ideas overall to care for our environment.
We had some great feedback and much enthusiasm. Since the launch we have been working on some areas of improvement and we received the Bronze Eco Church Award in 2019.
We improved the recycling facilities and re installed the recycling bin as well as providing extra recycling for crisp packet and biscuit wrappers and improving the signage
The refurbishment of the toilets was planned but also is an opportunity to improve facilities and make some water savings
We completed a wildlife survey of the churchyard in 2020 as part of developing a churchyard management plan. The churchyard already supports significant native species and we are looking at ways this could be improved whilst maintaining safety, good access and keeping the areas tidy
We have been providing regular Eco Tips in the church newsletter and looking at other areas we can reach out into the local community,
*** The survey covers five key areas of church life: Worship and teaching, Management of church buildings, Management of church land, Community and global engagement, and Lifestyle. We are currently working towards the Silver award, and we still have plenty to do to get there. For more details on the scheme see https://ecochurch.arocha.org.uk/