Two of the subjects we are currently considering as a church are, air pollution and the planting of trees. Not all of us may have the space or desire to plant a tree but there are many garden shrubs and plants that can help ‘soak up’ air pollution. Roadside gardens have such potential and can really have an impact for managing rainwater and temperature, offering habitat to wildlife and reducing pollution.
Please do consider your front garden this spring, the addition of a small hedge, climbing plants on a trellis or flowers in pots can make such a difference to our local environment.
Working to be an Eco Church
Bread is full of symbolic meaning for Christians and in another step towards being an Eco Church we ask you to ‘LOAF’, which stands for food which is: Locally produced, Organically grown, Animal friendly and Fairly traded.
The decisions we make about our food have far-reaching effects, influencing the way food is produced and animals are treated. Buying food from local and regional sources means less climate-damaging food miles, less lorry traffic and supports the local economy. Remember, we do live in The Garden of England.
This Spring, implement your own Peat Ban. Please consider the peat content when selecting compost.Peatlands make up just 10% of UK land but they store a lot of carbon – even more than UK forests and other types of soil. So, they help in the fight against climate change. They can’t perform this vital function if they are degraded. Losing just 5% of UK peatland carbon would be equivalent to the UK’s entire annual greenhouse gas emissions.Click here to find out more.
Taking part in the Eco Church – An A Rocha UK Project award scheme is certainly a journey rather than an end in itself. It is the combination of many actions that show, as a church, we care for God’s world.
So, what positive activity has there been so far? We have an Eco Church Committee, which welcomes new members. We are part of Rainham Eco-Hub, a platform for all issues concerned with the environment and sustainability, encouraging positive local action. We are encouraging all members of the church family to audit their carbon footprint and are putting in systems to monitor our church buildings and activities. We are asking everyone to shop locally where possible or consider using ethically sourced goods such as those marked Fairtrade. We have in place new contracts that ensure our rubbish is recycled where possible. We are planning that our worship, teaching and prayer focus regularly on caring for God’s creation. We are improving the habitat for wildlife with the provision of items such as bird boxes and bug hotels. We are starting to engage with local and global environmental events and issues. But above all, we hope we are encouraging all of you to join us on our journey and that the aims of A ROCHA ECO CHURCH become an integral part of loving our neighbours and following God faithfully.
We are delighted to have achieved our BRONZE AWARD but where can we can we continue to improve? Many changes are linked with meeting together and events – ideas for the future COMMUNITY AND GLOBAL ENGAGEMENT – group walks, green fair and conservation work. Users of the church premises are encouraged to minimise resource use. LIFESTYLE – promotion of walking and cycling to church.WORSHIP AND TEACHING – church hosts guest speakers from environmental organisations. LAND – wildlife surveys on church land, an area of land is maintained for native wild flowers. BUILDINGS – cycle racks are available on church premises, recycled/ sustainable toilet paper is provided on church premises. Plus many more ideas from and involving the church family and community.
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