News from the DEG

ECO CHURCH and CHERISHING CHURCHYARDS MEETINGS

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 Greenvery 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

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, Dioceses need 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?

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!

CONGRATULATIONS TO ST MARY'S CUBBINGTONSt Mary's has just achieved Bronze Award status. Well done everyone who has worked hard to achieve this. On the way to Silver now too!

OTHER DATES FOR YOUR DIARY:

BCDM Creation Care: This module, through consideration of scripture and science, looks at God’s creation, our place in it and the hope that we have for the future in a time of environmental crisis. By the end of the module, you should see that care for the environment is integral to our call as Christians to discipleship.

  • Dates and Time: Thursday evenings 7.00-9.30pm, 1st March - 5th April (excluding Holy Week)
  • Venue: St Barnabas Church, Albion Street, Kenilworth, CV8 2FY 
  • To register, please go to: www.dioceseofcoventry.org/BCDMregister 

A Rocha Conference: God's Church - Our Mission at Holy Trinity Church, Leicester on Saturday 24 February http://arocha.org.uk/first-eco-church-conference-2018-announced/ Also see http://arocha.org.uk/eco-church-conference-offers-snacks-hack-system/

John Ray Initiative Conference:  Transport Now and in the Future - What are the Issues? Saturday 17th March 9.30am - 4.30pm Details at https://www.jri.org.uk/events/transport-now-and-in-the-future/

OTHER NEWS:

Church of England Environment Programme e-News: 

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

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.

RECENT EVENTS:

Working towards a net Zero Carbon Economy: this was a Day conference at St Michael's House, Coventry Cathedral on Saturday 8th July hosted by Coventry Cathedral Reconciliation Ministry and the Coventry Diocesan Environment Group.

The keynote speaker was Revd Dr Darrell Hannah, Rector of All Saints, Ascot and a Trustee of Operation Noah (http://operationnoah.org/), who spoke on ON's Bright Now programme of Divestment from fossil fuels and reinvestment in renewables (https://youtu.be/aU1S9NHVojo). Our other speakers were local: Bob Sherman of Harbury e-Wheels; George Browning, organic farmer, generator of solar pv and electric car driver; Tony McNally of Climate Change Solutions Ltd, Ryton; Dr Lim Ho from Stratford Methodist Church, which generates energy from Solar pv and a Ground source heat pump; John Cooper, West Midlands Regional Coordinator of Christian Aid (https://youtu.be/qTC87c0Vlyw). Thirty six people took part in the day, which was instructive and encouraging.

Many thanks to Rev Haley Jones, who hosted the conference and who returned shortly after to the USA after two years working as an intern for the Coventry Cathedral Reconciliation Ministry.

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Cherishing Churchyards Month, June 2017: a number of events took place:

St Andrew's Cherishing Churchyards Day (Sunday 4th June) included a treasure hunt in the churchyard and crafts, such as bird box building, followed by a picnic in the park. This was a great day!

St James' Church, Alveston, Churchyard Day (Saturday 10th June) included looking at results of moth trapping and small mammal trapping, a wildflower survey, minibeast hunt, children's crafts and Teddy Bears' Picnic. The cakes were brilliant!

St Leonard's Church, Birdingbury held a Care of Creation Service, Debbie Wright, the WWT Hedgehog Officer for Rugby spoke and demonstrated hedgehog footprint tunnels.

St Edmund's Church, Shipston on Stour (Saturday 17th June) BBQ/picnic with bring and share tea in newly re-opened churchyard.

All Saints Church Leek Wootton (Sunday 18th June) Activities included churchyard trail, minibeast hunting, hedgehog home building and Teddy Bears' Picnic.

St Martin in the Fields Finham, Coventry (Saturday 24th June) Community Environment Day which included children's activities, reducing one's ecological footprint activities, stalls and food.

St Mary's Church, Oldberrow (Saturday 24th June and Sunday 25th June) A number of visitors from near and further afield explored the biodiversity in this amazing species rich churchyard;  tea and cake was greatly enjoyed!

St Paul's Church, Warwick (Sunday 2nd July) A Community Fun Day including treasure hunt, mini beast safari and fancy dress competition in the beautiful churchyard. Free ice cream was an added bonus!

We hope that more churches will get involved in 2018. Find out more at our meetings at Budbrooke and Hartshill in March and April respectively (see Dates for your Diary above)

Green Church Awards: See https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/green-church 

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

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