In Autumn 2020 the PCC held a preliminary discussion about EcoChurch and gave the go ahead to launching our Eco Church ambitions. We are really looking forward to updating you with our progress and to opening up discussion as we think more about how we can expand action and engagement in this project.

 

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 that we care for God’s world.

 

A Rocha UK has five core values:

 

Christian – Underlying all we do is our biblical faith in the living God, who made the world, loves it and entrusts it to the care of human society.

 

Conservation – We carry out research for the conservation and restoration of the natural world and run environmental education programmes for people of all ages.

 

Community – Through our commitment to God, each other and the wider creation, we aim to develop good relationships both within the A Rocha family and in our local communities.

 

Cross-cultural – We draw on the insights and skills of people from diverse cultures, both locally and around the world.

 

Cooperation – We work in partnership with a wide variety of organisations and individuals who share our concerns for a sustainable world.

 

 

The Eco Church Survey provides a really useful framework  on which to measure our current status  as well as helping us to shape and prioritise our next steps towards attaining a Net Zero Carbon Footprint by 2030. The survey is designed to equip our church so that we might express our care for God’s world through our worship and teaching; how we look after your buildings and land; how we engage with our local community and in global campaigns, and in the personal lifestyles of our congregation – that’s you! The actions we take will all count towards us gaining a prestigious Eco Church Award. Take a look at the survey here.

A Rocha UK’s vision is for churches of all denominations to care for creation as an integral part of loving their neighbours and following God faithfully.

So, what positive activity has there been so far?

 

The Eco team

 

We have a team headed up by Janet Todd have been working very hard behind the scenes looking at the survey, completing various pieces of work with the help of the Diocesan Environmental Advisor including utilising and completing a new Energy Footprint Calculation Tool to begin the process of becoming carbon neutral.

 

The Eco Team are working closely with the Gardening Team headed up by Mary Felstead, the Property Management Working Group (PMWG) the PCC and the Staff and  Ministry Team as well as looking out to the community where we hope to link up with the local schools and their Eco Councils, WoTTA and other local eco initiatives.

We are making good progress working through the survey, we have completed our 2020 Energy Footprint Calculation and submitted a request for an Energy Efficiency Advisor to help us better understand our next steps. We are currently reviewing our energy suppliers and a variety of other things that the survey has helped us identify such as the paper we use, lightbulbs, composting and much much more!

What next?

 

Many of the changes we have made already or the things we are reviewing with a view to change may not be so obvious but a lot of the work being done we will aim to share so you can get an idea of the work being done. Look out for articles in the Monthly Newsletter, links and updates on our social media channels and of course here on the website. If you are interested in getting involved we have more ideas than we do people to implement them so get in touch via news@waltonparish.org.uk

 

We will continue working on the survey, in particular we want to concentrate on the two categories that need work – Community & Global Engagement and Lifestyle.

 

Caring for God’s Acre – Churches Count on Nature Week – June 5th – 13th 2021

 

Churches Count on Nature runs as part of Caring for God’s Acre’s Love Your Burial Ground week from Saturday 5th June – Sunday 13th June 2021. The week is being used as a springboard to help start recording the wildlife within our churchyard. Churches Count on Nature is a joint initiative promoted by Caring for God’s Acre, A Rocha UK, the Church of England and the Church in Wales.

The idea is that it will bring together local people to discover the wildlife in the churchyard, we will be recording the species they find, then submitting the results with others so they may be collated on the National Biodiversity Network (NBN), a nationwide database of wildlife in the UK.

 

So, you are invited to join us in the churchyard at St Mary’s. There will be people in and around the churchyard various days of the week (see below) who will be available to guide you but you are welcome to come and explore at any time. Please do be careful though as there is a lot of uneven ground around the churchyard and lots of hidden stones and other trip hazards.

 

Wednesday 9th, Thursday 10th, Friday 11th June 2.00 – 5.00 pm

Saturday 12th June 12.30 – 5.00 pm

 

Caring for God’s Acre have put together this super ‘Starter guide’ which will help lead you through your first visit to the churchyard and teach you to recognise some of the wildlife and other features commonly found there.

Find out more about some of our projects, things you can be doing at home other eco ideas & news here!