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Parish litter picks aid Eco Church outreach

Two parishes recently undertook litter picks in their localities as part of their Eco Church journeys.

Silver-awarded St Andrews Eco Church group organized its third annual Litter Pick at the end of February – Eco Church rep Fiona Joliffe tells us more.

“We did this in conjunction with Holt Town Council and Greening Holt. Gemma, the Clerk to the Council arranged for the equipment to be collected from North Norfolk District Council, advertised the event through the Holt Chronicle, social media and organized the collection of the rubbish at the end of the morning.

“Over 25 people joined us, from all parts of the town. Our aim this year was to clear as much rubbish from the roads into and out of Holt as well as covering the town centre and estates Each team was provided with colour coded maps Thanks to the 25 people who turned up, we achieved our aim and were proud of the 50 or so bags collected. Several mentioned the problem of dog waste bags thrown in the hedgerows.

“One volunteer commented that she really enjoyed the morning and helping to keep the town litter free. Primroses, snowdrops and a few daffodils are now visible along the bypass rather than the empty bottles and cans.

“As an Ecochurch group, we enjoy being able to liaise with the other like-minded groups in the town. As community engagement is an important part of Ecochurch, it was an added bonus.”

Crossroads Earlham Church, a bronze Eco Church holder, undertook their first litter pick just before Easter. Initiated by the Eco Church group, it drew people from the different services and all ages to cover an area around St Mary’s Church hall in Earlham. It was done as part of the nationwide “Great British Spring Clean” campaign that saw over 400,000 bags collected during that week. Careful planning around safety equipment, hi-viz waistcoats and a risk assessment too place ahead of the day.

Starting with prayer in the hall, the group of about 16 volunteers went out two-by-two and amassed an impressive 22 bags of rubbish, which were then collected and disposed of by the local council.  A volunteer remained at the hall throughout the collecting period, continuing to pray and the event ended with lots of cake and refreshments to reward the hard work! Organiser Helen Blake said, “We had very positive feedback and questions about whether this is something we will organise again.” It was a good learning curve as a first event and the hope is to repeat it more often.

These practical and pastoral activities also have a visually prophetic element as these church communities step out to combat the problem of local pollution.

Have you started your Eco Church journey yet? Register as an Eco Church or find out more at: https://ecochurch.arocha.org.uk/

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For any further help, contact barbara.bryant@dioceseofnorwich.org