“Having agreed to take the lead on Eco Church for our group of seven rural churches, I found myself swimming in deep water, quite quickly!
“The online questionnaire to complete for each church is cumbersome and does not always have our circumstance but I’m getting quicker at filling them in and helping others in the team with the best answers. For instance, do we have bike racks? No, but then we don’t need them because there are plenty of walls and churchyard space to safely park bikes in, so the correct answer is “Yes”.
“Trying to determine if a church has had a churchyard survey has produced much fruit and surveys from as far back as 1982 appearing from The Norfolk Wildlife Trust. We have performed one churchyard survey where we measured the girth of the trees. This gives an indication of how old and how much of a carbon sink they are. As this church has no water, electricity or gas, with lots of big trees, it is very environmental. The local community were invited to participate and this has opened up some good conversations.
“We are using the iNaturalist App to help identify the fauna and flora in the churchyards and have already found some rare plants.
“Once the nuts and bolts of the questionnaire have been completed we will be able to look out at our community and global engagement and think about how we as individuals and church members may be able to make small changes to our lives that will have a cumulative knock on effect to help reduce climate change and reach carbon neutrality by 2030.”
The Revd Joanna Haywood, Curate for the Trunch Group added:
“Eco Church has provided a wonderful way of people with similar passions about the environment and preserving God’s creation to work together across our group of seven churches, regularly meeting together to help each other and share ideas. Expertise has been readily shared, and ideas developed in one church are being developed and built upon by others and then shared back. This cross-church working is drawing in others as it increases enthusiasm for Eco Church which has led to group-wide support and encouragement. It’s also providing a good model for inter-group working which I’m hoping will feed into other initiatives!”
Have you started your Eco Church journey yet? Register as an Eco Church or find out more at: https://ecochurch.arocha.org.uk/
Sign-up for our Eco Newsletter here
Join the conversation on our Facebook group here
Watch the message from Bishop Graham here
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