The Eco Church award scheme will mark its first anniversary with environmentally themed ‘Green Communion’ services at churches and cathedrals across the country this Sunday.
TRINITY church, based in three locations across Lewes, East Sussex, was part of the launch of the scheme at St Paul’s Cathedral and this year achieved a bronze award. Martin Pett, a worshipper at Trinity, and a member of the Chichester Diocesan Environmental Group, writes about the work achieved so far by the church.
“In embracing Eco Church, we have worked with our children’s groups on environmental activities including building nest boxes, setting up hedgehog houses and making bird feeders in all three churchyards. We have done a lot to promote biodiversity in our churchyards including sowing ‘Yellow Rattle’ a plant which helps reduces the vigour of the grass, thereby encouraging wildflowers to grow. We also have beehives in one of the churchyards to aid pollination.
We recently carried out an energy audit of all the buildings at all three locations and this information will be used to look at ways of reducing our carbon foot print. People from the congregation have been to Rwanda where they have taken part in various environmental projects including building gardens to provide fresh vegetables. We also have a water engineer who has been involved in rainwater harvesting projects both for domestic properties and schools in Rwanda. An ethical purchasing policy ensures that everyone considers carefully all food purchased for the church. There are regular services at the church with an environmental theme and follow ups in small groups.
“We started with a small band of people who were passionate about the environment – some might initially have seen us as a group of ‘tree huggers’. As our work has reached more people in the congregation, particularly through our education projects with children, more people have become involved and understand more about environmental issues. We are now well on the way to achieving a silver award.”
Martin Pett is a horticulturalist and a former head gardener at London Zoo
To read more Eco Church awards see http://ecochurch.arocha.org.uk/