A new 'Eco' initiative was launched recently in the form of small laminated business-sized EcoCards (see below) which church members were invited to take to remind them of our continuing involvement in the EcoCircuit Programme.
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The earth is the Lordís,
and everything in it, the world,
and all who live in it.
Psalm 24 v1
Four churches have now undertaken the online EcoChurch review -
Evesham, Stratford, Henley and Mickleton.
Some of the questions are quite challenging and others difficult for smaller churches with elderly congregations.
Mickleton certainly fits in this category and the work the congregation has put in has been recognised by A Rocha which has just confirmed it has qualified for a Bronze Award (see certificate).
Hopefully this will now encourage some of our other small circuit churches to carry out the online review and see how close they are to qualifying.
As the next step, Mickleton is now considering using some of the lawned area behind the church to work with the community to establish a Wildflower and bee/butterfly friendly garden - just one small example of 'Churches without walls' idea which the Birmingham District has been encouraging.
Evesham Methodist Church was the first in the country to receive the Eco-Congregation Award and is one of only a few churches to have won this award three times; Stratford has also just received its third award and, following a major refurbishment completed in June 2014, is now one of the "greenest" churches in the country with a solar roof, ground source heat, rain water harvesting, low energy lighting and a wildlife garden - visit their website to discover more.
It is therefore appropriate that Evesham & Stratford Circuit has been invited by the Carbon Reduction Project of the Methodist Church to become the first circuit in the country to pilot the new Eco-Circuit Award Scheme run by Eco-Congregation with support from A Rocha UK. An Action Plan has now been endorsed by the Circuit Meeting and the new Eco-team offers support and leadership to all the churches in the circuit with the aim of increasing concern for the environment, encouraging practical action and developing links with the wider community. Particular emphasis is being placed to on assist our smaller rural churches to become involved in the programme.
We produce a regular newsletter (Eco-News) which aims to inform, encourage and assist our circuit congregations to become more involved in Caring for Creation.
For further information on the Eco-Circuit programme contact the Eco-Team Coordinator on 01386 438572 or e-mail.