Eco Church is an award scheme which helps churches demonstrate that they are caring for God’s earth in a holistic way.
It is run by A Rocha UK (ARUK) – a Christian charity working for the protection and restoration of the natural world and committed to equipping Christians and churches in the UK to care for the environment.
There are five categories that cover different aspects of church life, from worship & teaching to buildings and land and to global engagement and our own lifestyles. The more action you take the more points you gain towards a Bronze, Silver or Gold award.
We at Aenon have started our Eco Church journey and are busy making changes and trying to improve how we ‘do things’.
We were delighted to be awarded our Bronze award in October 2022 and so are now working towards the Silver.
Come back soon and see how we’re doing
– Consider your shopping habits…think about individual items of food – where does it come from? could you have bought it more locally? does it have lots of unnecessary packaging?
– If you have a garden or a patio, or yard (even very small patch) make it more welcoming for wildlife- for butterflies, bees, hedgehogs etc.
– Try and cut out using as much single use plastic as you can- buy a water bottle & coffee cup and take them out with you for example.
We are currently in the process of applying for a Local Places for Nature starter package to help us create a small garden / raised bed area on the higher area of the rear car-park. If successful, it will contain edible flowering plants, potted fruit shrubs, habitat boxes, and some gardening tools.
Thanks to the small group of volunteers who tend to current flower and grassed area, but this will be a welcome addition as we are in an urban area, and it is a chance for us to give wildlife a helping hand.
The Great Big Green Week event at Aenon took place on Saturday 24th September 2022
Garden Bug House
Sowing Wildflower Seeds
Local Places for Nature starter package
We are delighted to have been awarded this package which will allow us to make our grounds and garden more eco and wildlife friendly.
November / December 2022
Christmas can be a time of excess in every way. From electricity usage to presents galore, an overload of food, packaging and energy. The festive season takes its toll on the environment, as well as our bodies and bank accounts.
If we’re a little more aware, we can have a lovely time whilst being more mindful of the resources we are using. So why not try some of these ideas?
- Buy meaningful gifts – experiences, promises, subscriptions or memberships etc. rather than ‘stuff’
- If you do buy, buy smart:
- -think ‘green’- made from recycled materials
- look for handmade gifts
- look for locally made gifts
- cook or make something
- Find alternatives to glittery wrapping paper (which is not recyclable)
- Likewise with cards – plain paper ones without added bits & glitter
- Use natural items – greenery (holly, ivy, mistletoe, pinecones etc.) for decorating your home
- Try and make your own crackers with more useful items
- Be realistic with the amount of food you buy to avoid wasting it
At the start of a new year, many of us look to make changes in our lifestyles and make ‘resolutions’. Some are successful while others fall by the wayside quite soon! We will be putting tips and ideas on here throughout the year- things you can try to do more of, or less of, to get you thinking or to change habits completely- all from an ‘eco’ perspective of course!
We are starting with nature and making more of it in an intentional way. Here are some ideas:
- Spot winter wildlife. Winter is still a great time to be outdoors and see wildlife. Soak up the seasonal sights on your doorstep or find out what you can see in different parts of the UK here.
- Walk and Worship. Go for a walk in nature and note all the signs of the season. Use this time to reflect on the changing season and what we can be thankful for.
- Write about or draw something that inspires you in nature. Try this one as a group activity and share your ideas and reflections.
- Birdwatch. A great way to begin could be taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch this January (27-29).
- Visit an outstanding area of beauty in the UK. Many of our Partners in Action offer beautiful surroundings and even retreat days or weekends. Check out The National Trust’s website for your nearest escape to nature too.
- Get to your nearest green space more often. Time spent enjoying God’s creation will help set your mind and seek the things that are above. Bring your sketch or note book, your Bible, or whatever helps you connect with our heavenly Father. Or perhaps God is inviting you to just bring yourself (with some extra layers!) and simply sit.
- Bring a friend along! Next time you meet up with a friend, why not suggest an extended or brisk wintery walk together (don’t forget your reusable coffee cups!)
- Grow your own. What could you grow inside your home, in the garden or even at church? Who can you bless along the way?
- Plan a Wild Time! Plan something completely wild in nature for later this year. Experience kayaking, wild camping, forest school, forest church… Make it your resolution to really enjoy what nature has to offer this year. Break out of your normal routine and join a volunteer work party or take to the water for wild swimming. Whatever you do – do something different and have fun!
(Source: A Rocha UK )
Our new planters (curtesy of the Local Places for Nature grant) are now full of plants. There are herbs (wild majoram, sage, sorrel, comfrey and more); fruits (blackcurrant, redcurrant, strawberries) and even a hop plant!
We hope to see these grow strong and vibrant over the coming months. It will be lovely to see some colour and food for us and passers-by to cut and use.
On the trellis at the front of the church there is a bee/ insect house and if you look high up near the back corner you will see our new bird box. (There’s another around the side of the building too). These are great additions to help support local wildlife as the church is situated in a urban area with not so much greenery.
Thank you to the volunteers to who helped with the work and here’s a few photos of it all!