An Eco ChurchElsie Clay pic

Picture by Elsie Clay from Bentley Heath School - winner of the Eco competition


WE CAN LIVE DIFFERENTLY

OUR PLEDGES

Following on from an informative Eco Weekend at St Philip's Church Centre, we are encouraging people to make pledges and commit to small changes as we all do our bit to help the climate crisis.

There is a table in the foyer at St Philip's where you can register your pledges, or make them online by ticking the box next to each pledge you will commit to and click send form at the bottom.

 I/We pledge to:-

Everyday steps: take one or more of the steps listed further down

Carbon footprint: find out my carbon footprint, and try to reduce it

various calculators are available, for example:

https://climate-calculator.climatehero.me/

https://count-us-in.org/en-gb/steps/

 Local travel: pick a local trip that I would usually drive for, and walk or cycle instead

Heating: turn the thermostat down a notch

Home: find out if I can improve my home’s insulation click here for more information

Food: eat one, or one extra, meat-free meal a week

Food waste: go through freezer/cupboards and make a meal from things that need                            using up or donate in-date cupboard items to a foodbank

Local environment: do a litter pick once a month

Recycling: save soft plastics (films, bags, etc.), and take to Tesco/Sainsbury’s                                  recycling points

Politicians: email our MP/local councillors about my climate concerns 

Business: Email a company I deal with/buy from about improving its climate action

Get involved: Join our Eco Church group (or another climate/environment group)

Finance: move my bank account to a “green” bank, e.g. Triodos or Co-Op Bank

Pensions: move my pension pot to an ethical fund

Clothing: buy an item of pre-loved/vintage clothing, instead of new

Transport: make my next new car an electric one

Gardening: start to grow/grow more vegetables or fruit

 Overseas: twin a toilet with https://www.toilettwinning.org

 Wildlife: create a little wild area/pond/put up a bird box in the garden 

Christmas: don’t buy cards/wrapping paper with glitter on, or foil gift wrapping


Everyday steps we can take

Only boil as much water as I need

Take shorter showers

Don’t run the tap continuously when brushing teeth

Reduce my use of single use plastic – eg. getting refills of washing up         liquid, swapping to bar soap from liquid, buying loose fruit and vegetables

Batch cook to reduce food waste

Buy locally/seasonally produced food

Use wax wraps instead of clingfilm

Take a reusable mug to the café

Take a reusable (tap) water bottle with you, instead of buying bottled            water on the go

Have a clothing swap with friends

Install a water butt in my garden

Create a compost heap

Reduce how often I mow the lawn

Mend something instead of throwing it away

Buy recycled paper loo rolls

Start to use a Fairtrade product I don’t normally use

Talk to a friend/neighbour/colleague about my climate concerns 


Just click the send form button to register your pledges & everyday steps

 



At St Philip's with St James', we include caring for God’s creation as an integral part of our mission in Dorridge, Bentley Heath and beyond.

So, what are we doing so far?

 

Eco ChurchEco Church is a programme run by A Rocha UK, that provides a comprehensive structure to help churches and church communities express their care for God’s world; in our worship and teaching, in how we look after our buildings and land, in how we engage with our local community and in global campaigns, and in the personal lifestyles of our congregation. You can find out more on their website ecochurch.arocha.org.uk

Eco bronze

We have now registered with the Eco Church programme, and have obtained our first award, Bronze. There are three levels, Bronze, Silver and Gold, for both individual churches and for dioceses. We will be working toward our Silver award over the coming months. There will be lots of opportunities for people to get involved as we move forward on this.

 

Climate Sunday

This is an initiative organised by Churches Together, with support from Christian Aid, CAFOD, Tearfund, A Rocha UK, Operation Noah and others. It ties in smoothly with Eco Church, and with the Church of England’s and Birmingham Diocese’s target to become net carbon zero as regards its land and buildings by 2030. It has three core elements:-

·         Holding a climate focused service

·         Committing as a church community to reduce our own greenhouse gas emissions; and

·         Speaking up for bolder action by the UK government on climate change

We held our Climate Sunday service on Sunday 13th June 2021.

As part of speaking up for bolder action, we are encouraged, as a church and as individuals, to sign up to The Time is Now open letter to the Prime Minister produced by the Climate Coalition, a group of over 100 developmental and environmental organisations, including all the major Christian charities, the National Trust, the RSPB, the Women’s Institute and many others.

It asks the government to:-

·         Unleash a clean energy revolution that boosts jobs across the UK, making our transport, power and housing fit for the future

·         Protect, restore and expand our green and wild spaces; allowing nature to thrive, taking carbon from the air and boosting the nation’s health; and

·         Leave no one behind by increasing support to those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change at home and abroad

St Philip's with St James' as a church has signed up to the open letter. You can sign up to the letter as an individual at thetimeisnow.uk/declaration

 

Where can I find more info

The great news is that the ways in which we can take practical action to protect God’s creation are increasing and changing all the time. We will share with you the information available as to the steps that we can all take to play our part.

Initially, we will do this in three ways:-

·         A monthly slot in the parish newsletter, with up to date developments and tips for action:

·         Through helpful links to videos, presentations and articles in this section of the website.

·         A booklet with practical information, including links, as to steps we can all take to walk more lightly on the planet. The first one deals with what we can do as regards heating and powering our homes. The second covers how we can reduce our impact on the planet through the food on our plate. Each month, we will produce another. Once, complete, we will also produce it in hard copy.


 Click here to download Issue 1

 Click here to download Issue 2

 Eco Book issue 1

 Eco cover

 Click here to download issue 3

 

 Eco issue 3

 


get involved

At the moment, this initiative is being spearheaded, with Duncan’s support, by a small group, but we need additional church members’ passions, skills and ideas to build on the start we’ve made.

A Climate and Environment Group has been set up and we would love you to join. Whether your passion is the natural world, gardening, involving young people, reducing our carbon footprint, working with the local community, campaigning or otherwise encouraging the wider church, government and businesses to play their part in what’s needed, or something we haven’t thought of, we’d love to have you join the Group.

If you are interested, or would like to know more, contact Caroline Egan, Carol Linfield, Roger Williams or Laura Bates.