News from the DEG

DIOCESE OF COVENTRY CENTENARY 1918 - 2018

Our 2018 centenary celebration includes registering as an Eco Diocese!

One of the Five Marks of Mission is 'To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth'.

Many dioceses have identified Eco Church as a key tool to encourage churches to engage in creation care; this led A Rocha UK to introduce the idea of Eco Diocese. Amongst other things, a Diocese needs an agreed Environmental Policy and, for Bronze Award, to have at least 10% of its churches registered for Eco Church with 5% having achieved Bronze. The Diocese of Coventry has registered as an Eco Diocese as part of our centenary celebration. Could your church consider signing up to Eco Church in 2018?

What is Eco Diocese? For information, see https://ecochurch.arocha.org.uk/eco-diocese/

As part of the Diocesan Centenary, the DEG is organising The Centenary Tree Project, in which it is proposed that a tree will be planted to commemmorate the Centenary in every churchyard and in the grounds of each Church of England School. More news to follow!

Congratulations to St James', Alveston,  St Mary's Cubbington and St John's, Kenilworth on achieving your Eco Church Bronze Awards!

Congratulations to St Andrew's, Rugby on achieving Eco Church Silver!

NEW CREATIONTIDE RESOURCES: visit https://creationtide.com/

GREEN ENERGY:  Thousands of churches have switched to Parish Buying. Has your church switched to a cheaper and 100% green energy supplier yet? Check out Parish Buying.

OTHER DATES FOR YOUR DIARY:

Stewardship and the Anthropocene: Friday 7th September. Part of the CRES Residential Course, the Friday sessions have been opened up for others and should provide an excellent and interesting day.

Christian Rural and Environmental Studies (CRES): The Certificate Course is now open for applications at https://www.jri.org.uk/news/cres-open-for-applications-2018/. This two year distance learning Certificate course provides an opportunity to study rural and environmental issues from a Christian viewpoint. It will be of interest to all with a personal or professional concern for the environment and countryside, rural communities and church. There are no entry requirements. It is very popular and as there are limited spaces available, do apply as soon as possible if you are interested. 

CHERISHING CHURCHYARDS EVENTS, June 2018:

St Edmund's, Shipston on Stour: a great occasion, with a BBQ in the Churchyard; looking good in the fine weather. St Edmund's has registered for Eco Church.

St Mary's, Oldberrow: tea and cakes were enjoyed in the most biodiverse churchyard in Warwickshire (Steven Falk (2009): Warwickshire's Wildflowers Brewin Books). Hoary Plantain, Common Spotted Orchid and increasing numbers of Yellow Rattle. Also great creation care service.

St Andrew's, Eastern Green: Another great effort by the home team, but we hope to get more visitors next year!

St James', Alveston: this was another great occasion to see this example of excellent practice in churchyard management for biodiversity.

St Peter's, Butler's Marston: a great service celebrating their beautiful churchyard on Sunday 24th June.

All Saint's, Leek Wootton: We had guided tours around the churchyard to identify trees and then flowering plants and excellent refreshments provided by the local Scouts. 

St Peter's, Dunchurch: some very imaginative ideas to make the most of this amazing large churchyard. See the poem (Right hand panel) written by children to describe their sensory experiences in the churchyard.

ECO CHURCH and CHERISHING CHURCHYARDS MEETINGS

Report: Wednesday 18th April evening meeting, 7.30-9.00pm, at Holy Trinity, Hartshill with Vicky Gilbert of Eco Church Gold Award winning St Catherine's Burbage

See the Flyer for this April meeting. Following an introduction to Eco Church by DEO Godfrey Armitage, we heard from Vicky Gilbert how St Catherine's Burbage (Leicester Diocese) achieved Gold. Vicky described the journey which started years before Eco Church was founded (2016) with a group in the parish who were passionate about caring for God's creation. Working through the Eco Congregation scheme, like our own St Andrew's Eastern Green, a very supportive vicar, a team of enthusiastic and imaginative parishioners, regular Fairtrade involvement, active gardening and ground source heating were some of the things that helped. In addition, more than just ticking the boxes on the survey, they described the various things they had done in the extra boxes provided. They also looked at everything that they could do, rather than being discouraged by things that were not feasible. Other talks were given by Revd Sheila Bridge (PJ's Veg Beds in Rugby), Nicola Perryman (Worship Outdoors and Cherishing Churchyards 2018) and Amanda Ross (Global Engagement with Practical Action). Over 50 people attended from 21 Diocese of Coventry churches as far away as Shipston and Grandborough and three other churches. Thanks to Revd Heather Barnes and her team for their great hospitality.

Report on Tuesday 13th March evening meeting, 7.30 - 9.00pm,  at St Michael's Budbrooke

36 people came from 19 parishes to this excellent evening event to hear about Eco Church and the progress that various churches have been making with this scheme; see the flyer for the Budbrooke meeting. This was followed by a report on last year's Cherishing Churchyards events, discussion groups and a plenary session. If you would like access to the Powerpoint presentations please email Godfrey.Armitage@CovCofe.org

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CONGRATULATIONS TO ST ANDREW'S EASTERN GREEN: St Andrew's has just achieved Eco Church Silver Award status. Well done everyone! Learn how to go for Gold at the meeting in Hartshill on 18 April!

OTHER NEWS:

Church of England Environment Programme E-news

Find out the latest news, resources and events in the spring E-news and summer E-news
including........

Managing churchyard grassland

How to reduce your church's environmental impact & cut costs

Plastic-less living

Green Health Awards

Free Grow Wild seed kits

How to switch to green energy

Speak Up Week

Eco Church 

New Eco Church pages online Go to http://arocha.org.uk/new-eco-church-survey-online/ 

Christian Rural and Environmental Studies (CRES): Congratulations to Revd Chris Goble on being awarded his CRES Certificate on 2 September 2017! Visit our Resources page for more information about this excellent programme.

Via Beata: a pilgrimage route from Lowestoft to St David's. To mark the mid-point of the route, a large carved cross has been put up at Redhill Christian Centre (http://www.viabeata.co.uk/2017/07/10/giant-cross-at-mid-point-of-via-beata/) and another way station will appear shortly at one of our parish churches (watch this space!)

Save money! Is your church paying VAT at 20% for electricity and gas? You should be paying VAT at 5%; for details see https://fiec.org.uk/what-we-do/strand-blog/vat-on-gas-and-electricity

New Housing Developments: with a number of new developments springing up in the Diocese, let's make sure that these are built for the benefit of those who live there, both people and wildlife. Read the Wildlife Trusts' vision report.

For News items from 2017 and earlier, go to the News Archive page

Below: putting up a newly made bird box at St Andrew's Eastern Green