At the end of October, representatives from rural churches across the diocese gathered at St Mary’s Church, Wendover. The event was organised by the Environment Action Team in the diocese, as part of a trial and launch of the new equipment and the Parish Environment Resource Pack aimed at supporting churches in reducing their energy costs, particularly rural parishes.
Paul Moring, Deanery Environmental Lead for Wendover Deanery, and his Eco Church colleagues shared the work they have been doing to improve biodiversity in the vast churchyard of St Mary’s. Bat and bird boxes have been installed (and are used, as to our delight we spotted a bird say a quick hello from its bird box!), a wildflower meadow is being nurtured, a bug hotel has been built and areas of the churchyard left unmown to promote biodiversity and wildlife.
Paul shared about the fundraising work he has been doing with the church to install new doors that will keep the heat in the building and improve access for those with buggies or in wheelchairs. Paul stressed that if a church can demonstrate how the building is being used by the wider community, local grants can become much more accessible.
The Environment Action Team shared a suite of new resources, covering a range of topics including ‘DIY’ audits for church lighting and heating, sustainable travel, eco-friendly supplies, and a churchyard scavenger hunt. These resources are available to download.
A box of equipment was also passed around, so that everyone could have a go at using different LED lightbulbs, try out a thermal imaging camera, find energy data using a data logger, and sit on a heated cushion. The box of equipment is available for loan from the diocese by any church, please email us to book.
This event was organised as part of the work of the Environment Action Team to support churches from every tradition, location and setting to participate in the journey to care for creation and reduce carbon emissions. The recent COP27 talks have highlighted the urgency of the climate crisis, and as part of the Anglican Fifth Mark of Mission, we are all called to respond.
There are more opportunities to learn and share about caring for creation through the Greenshoots Network. Joining the A Rocha Eco Church scheme is one way your church can take positive steps in caring for creation.
Visit the Church of England Environment Programme for more information on fundraising, energy efficiency, and heating your church.