What’s new this week?

Are you ready to support COP26 ?

As you will remember our PCC have committed to making a difference to the climate crisis and taking our role as ‘stewards of the earth’ much more seriously.

Our sub committee of the PCC ‘Creation Matters’, are currently in the process of  working towards an application for an ‘Eco-Church’ award (Bronze award).  What is  ‘Eco Church’ you might ask? 

Eco Church is a project of A Rocha UK – a charity committed to mobilising

Christians to care for nature.

Churches complete the unique online Eco Survey about how they are caring for God’s earth in different areas of their life and work. The answers a church provides will collect points towards an Eco Church Award – the more your church does, the more points you get!

The survey takes you through five key areas of church life:

· Worship and teaching

· Management of church buildings

· Management of church land

· Community and global engagement

· Lifestyle

You can find out more information here

Our Progress so far:

· We have already made a difference in several areas for example:

·  changing our energy suppliers to promote the use of ‘green energy’

·  provision of eco-friendly toilet paper and paper towel for the toilets

·  in the process of changing all our cleaning supplies to eco friendly ones

·   promotion of recycling items not able to be recycled in council rubbish collection and provision for               collecting several of these items (porch bins). Information leaflets available online and in church

·   Including the recycling of any food waste from food preparation into the green council bins

·  Use of projector screen for services instead of printed services

·  Community churchyard work parties to help maintain the churchyard

·  Festival of Creation—to promote community and individual engagement in caring for creation

·  Study course and sermon series on caring for creation

· Fabric Committee have undertaken a survey of all our lighting in the parish centre and church and are in the process of upgrading all our fittings and bulbs to be more efficient and eco-friendly.

· We have updated our registration with ‘Fairtrade Foundation’ and remain committed to serving Fairtrade Tea, Coffee and Sugar at any of our services and events. We are working towards using other Fairtrade products. We have committed to promoting Fairtrade during Fairtrade Fortnight (annually) and through events, worship and other activities where possible.

· We are looking at ‘Toilet Twinning’ the remainder of our toilets – a few have already been twinned.

· Potentially leaving some of the churchyard around the back of church (very old section adjacent to church) to grow wild to attract wild flowers, insect and bird life, which will be carefully managed.

· Though unable to plant more trees in the churchyard we will be replacing the old standard roses with several new ones (more information to follow)

Also please click HERE for the leaflet we put together for our Festival of Creation with helpful information about where to recycle locally as well as links to organisations concerned about the climate crisis.

Both these leaflets and a few other helpful ones are available in church to collect.

Terracycling at St Mary’s!

The third scheme we are adopting is for the recycling of :

During a sermon series we invited our congregation to share their ideas to protect the planet. The suggestions below were offered and perhaps you might be able to follow them too. We would love to hear about any further ideas-every small step makes a difference if we are all trying our best. 

What else is happening ?

· You’re invited to join our Fellowship Study Group as we focus on the environment; see details in this newsletter

· We have our ’Festival of Creation’  on 2/3 October this year and hope you will join in as a visitor, exhibitor or both. Confirmed exhibitors include the Alternative Quilt group and  Garland Junior School. We are talking to several other groups and hope to include an activity that will allow you to be creative and “speak up” (see below!) to your MP. Please talk to Alison Eves if you have an idea or belong to a group who would like to take part in this festival

Our last session in our sermon series was about

           ‘Speaking Up’ about climate issues.  Here are a couple of               

 ways you could do so if you would like to participate: 

The Climate Coalition https://www.theclimatecoalition.org/

I, which is a combined group of concerned

organisations (including the Church of England) is calling on us all to sign

The Time is now’ Declaration’ to:

‘Use your voice to tell politicians that you want a cleaner, greener, fairer future at the heart of plans to rebuild a strong economy’ https://thetimeisnow.uk/

There were 146,822 SIGNATURES so far on Wednesday when I signed the declaration.

Greenpeace is another organisation (also a member of the Climate Coalition) who persistently campaign on climate issues https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/ Find out more for yourself.

I recently signed a petition against single use plastics.

I would also like to encourage you to pray for the ‘Environment Bill’ going through parliament at the moment , which is a Bill to:

make provision about targets, plans and policies for improving the natural environment; for statements and reports about environmental protection; for the Office for Environmental Protection; about waste and resource efficiency; about air quality; for the recall of products that fail to meet environmental standards; about water; about nature and biodiversity; for conservation covenants; about the regulation of chemicals; and for connected purposes’.

So where to from here?

We hope you have felt challenged and inspired, rather than overwhelmed, by all we’ve

spoken about in terms of the climate crisis through our sermon series. 

Now it’s time to take action!

Have you begun to think about where you can make small changes and take those small steps to make a difference?  We’d love to hear from you.  We will be having feedback for and at our All Age service on 4th July on caring for creation, and we are hoping you will share your ideas so we can all learn from each other. Please send them in to our admin email address so that Janey can include them in our newsletter to share.

Help and advice!

 If you would like more help and advice on taking those small steps of faith Dr Ruth Valerio spoke about in last weeks video:

· Click Here for the link to her webpage on ‘Green Living’ giving accounts of her own efforts to live more sustainably.  Some of her ideas may appeal to you.

Some ideas from our ‘Tenants of the King’ sermon Series we have been following in June :

· REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE, REFUSE – ‘Be content with what you have’ (Hebrews 13:5).

· READ THE LABELS – find out what you can recycle in your area by clicking HERE

· PLASTIC DETOX – choose alternatives to single-use plastics.

· LOAF YOUR GROCERIES – buy Local, Organic, Animal-friendly and Fairly-traded.

· LEARN MORE HEALTHY RECIPES – good for your body, and the environment.

· MEAT-FREE MONDAYS – don’t want to go ‘full-veggie’- try one meal a week instead

On our Diocesesan website there is a new section dedicated to the ‘environment’ –  find out more by clicking HERE 

· Please click HERE to read some advice on how to reduce your carbon footprint?

· It’s a good idea for Christians to reflect, think and pray about what difference we can each make– find help by clicking HERE 

      Revd Glynn