Eco Church

To reduce our carbon footprint and to try to achieve carbon neutral by 2030, we signed up to follow the Eco church scheme. By following this scheme we the hope it would help us achieve our target. Safeguarding the earth that we live on is an integral part of our Christian understanding. We see our environmental action as part of our worship and life together. 

Eco award silver

With all the things we already do in our church we managed to achieve the bronze Eco church award. We continued to review what we did as a church and have now achieved the silver award. 

Work towards our gold award has now began.

Some ideas to get to Gold

We have already reached gold in the Worship category and we need to look at the four other categories

Land – Ideas include putting up birds boxes, bug hotels, bird feeding stations, create a pond, more wildflowers etc.

Buildings – Having a ‘Green’ gas tariff, collect rain water, have recycled toilet paper, Cycle racks etc.

Lifestyle  – Encourage the congregation to reduce their carbon footprint, Get people to do a personal footprint audit, encourage reduction in car use etc.

Community & Global Engagement – This category is the one we struggled with to get the silver award, some ideas for this section are – organise speakers from local environmentalists, take part in local and global campaigns, 

Take part in regular sustainability initiatives such as Carbon Fast or WWF’s annual Earth Hour

Are any members of the congregation involved with local conservation work?

 

Resources

The Eco Church website is full of helpful resources. It gives churches lots of support and advice to make changes to the church and the congregation’s lifestyle.

For more information about Eco church please click the button

Eco tip

Eco tip

Make ‘enjoying nature’ your priority. From bird watching to writing about or drawing something that inspires you in nature, growing your own fruit or vegetables, or exploring an area of outstanding natural beauty in the UK, be sure to fall in love with nature in a new way this coming year and allow it to lead your thoughts towards God our Creator. Further ideas can be found at arocha.org.uk/ideas-to-enjoy-nature/ Click the link belowto reach the site

Events

Fairtrade Coffee Morning

Fairtrade-Place-of-Worship-logo

Thank you to everyone who came to our Fairtrade coffee morning and Fairtrade stall.  It is hoped to make this an annual event. 2024 marks the 30th birthday of the Fairtrade mark and Fairtrade fortnight will move to September (9th – 22nd)

Did you know that the tea and coffee you drink on a Thursday or on a Sunday morning in church is Fairtrade?  We also use Fairtrade wine for communion.

Of course, many of us would like to buy Fairtrade items all the time but you might be put off because you think the cost is more than the supermarket’s own brand, which is the case on most items, but this is so the farmers receive a proper price for growing the crops. Many of the supermarkets own brands are Fairtrade and not just what people think as top of the market supermarkets such as Waitrose and Booths, both of which have a good range of Fairtrade products, both Lidl and Aldi sell their own Fairtrade products.

Counting Nature

The Helm Mission Community Environmental prayer & action group took part in the annual birdwatch in Natland churchyard. The following birds were spotted during our hour watching.

11 Rooks, 10 Starlings, 5 Jackdaws, 5 Greenfinches, 5 Goldfinches, 3 Blackbirds, 3 Carrion Crows, 2 Blue Tits, 2 Chaffinches, 2 Coal Tits, 2 Dunnocks, 2 Great Tits, 2 Wood Pigeons, 1 House Sparrow, 1 Magpie and 1 Song Thrush.

Upcoming Nature Counts

count on nature

This year the annual survey takes place between June 8th and the 16th. The survey asks us to record what wildlife, wild flowers, trees that are found in the churchyard. Last year several people kindly did a survey in our churchyard and recorded what the saw. Please came during this time to help us with this year’s count.

The Big Butterfly Count takes place between 12th July & 4th August. They ask you to spend 15 minutes counting all the butterflies and moths you see in that time. Resources and other information can be found at the Big butterfly count including a colourful reference sheet there is also a QR code below you can download to record and identify the butterflies.

Our Lent Challenge

As part of our Eco church awards we invited people to take part in the Carbon Fast for Lent.  Several people took part as well as taking part in the  Big Plastic Count.

So what next? Have you considered calculating your Carbon Footprint to see how you could reduce it more. Please click on the link to do a simple carbon footprint calculation.

Other Events happening soon

The Big Green Hike

On Saturday 6th April  15 of us meet on the Helm near the Station Inn and walked along the road over the Helm, then to the Punch Bowl pub in Barrows Green before returning to our start point by going along the road at the back of the Helm. For pictures of our walk please see the news page of the website please click the button.

We are raising money for the Bumblebee Conservation Trust., today we have raised £350. If you wish to sponsor our walk please go to our Just giving page by click on the button , Thank you.

If you feel you want to get involved or want more information about St Mark’s Eco church journey please get in contact