Eco Church

Eco Church

We are delighted that St Paul’s without the Walls has been awarded a Silver Eco Church Award by A Rocha UK, a Christian charity working across the UK to equip Christians and churches to protect and restore the environment – for God, nature and all people.  Their aim is to: inspire individuals and families, equip churches and church leaders, build partnerships and manage land for nature and people. 

St Paul’s completed the online Eco Survey answering questions about how we are caring for God’s earth in five key areas of church life:  Worship and teaching; Management of church buildings; Management of church land; Community and global engagement; and Lifestyle.

We have an active and ongoing concern for caring for the parts of God’s creation entrusted to our care, we are actively working on achieving an award at St Martin’s Church, in particular we are active in caring for our beautiful churchyard.

Regular updates on our Eco Church work can be found in Pilgrim Post and below

June 2024 Eco Church Update

Summer is on the way. Yesterday was sunny but at present it’s all very overcast – probably because it’s the Bank Holiday. Nonetheless the garden is blooming and I now have newts in my pond following the removal of the pond in the Rectory garden. Newts are a protected species and the Church of England is supporting efforts by parishioners to increase diversity of plants and animals in church yards with “Caring for God’s green acre”.
There is a Love your Burial Ground Week (Saturday 8th – Sunday 16th June) and churches from all denominations are being invited to a week-long ‘nature count’ to monitor and celebrate biodiversity in churchyards. It is jointly run by the conservation charities Caring for God’s Acre and A Rocha UK, together with the Church of England and
the Church in Wales. Find out More
There are free webinars in June. Just go to the website above to register.

Pat Crawford (Rural Focus Group) sent this very useful information about rainfall. Earlier this year large parts of the UK, including our own region, suffered continuous rain. Many people are confused by how this type of weather is linked to Climate Change; the Met Office website provides a helpful explanation. ‘Rainfall across the globe is determined by two things:
1. How warm the air is. Hotter air can hold more moisture. If the airhas an unlimited water supply, such as an ocean, then warmer air draws up extra moisture. This results in clouds containing a greater number of larger rain droplets and can be why showers in summer are often heavier than in winter. As the climate continues to warm, the effect will increase, and heavy rainfall events are expected to become more common.
2. The movement of weather patterns across the world. For example, the position of the jet stream near the UK influences a lot of our weather. However, any shifts in these weather patterns will lead to some regions becoming drier and others becoming wetter.’

Kent Wildlife Trust have launched the 2024 Bugs Matter survey season which has officially begun. They’ve extended the survey season 18 from May 1st to September 30th, giving us even more time to collect valuable data. All you need to do is count the number of insects splattered on your vehicle’s number plate after a journey. Your data will contribute to a nationwide effort to understand how insects are faring across the UK. Go on the Kent Wildlife Trust website for more details of how to download the app and start counting.

Meanwhile, we will organise a St Martin’s churchyard working party this month and details will be in the weekly parish email.

May 2024 Eco Church Update

The weather has been extraordinary in the past month, we seem to have gone through all four seasons in the past few weeks. But Spring is in the air, the tulips are out in front gardens and the daffodils have been wonderful. For those of you who have walked up Pilgrims Way to the woods there has been the pleasure of the wood anemones carpeting the floor. In St Martin’s churchyard the primroses have been glorious, and the pollarded willow has been covered in catkins. Alongside all the signs of new life there has been an explosion of brambles and the box has died throughout the churchyard. We need to have another working party to tackle these and it would be really good if more people would volunteerto help.

For your diary: The Deanery Eco-Fayre is at St Peter’s (CofE) Church, Canterbury, on Saturday 11th May from 10:00am—1:00 pm. The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress will be opening it, and our local M.P. Rosie Duffield has been invited to attend. Do, please make every effort to attend, there will be 17 stalls, refreshments and freshly made pizza available. Sue White

April 2024 Eco Church Update

Spring is in the air and the ground is beginning to be workable. At one point I thought all my spring flowers were growing webbed feet.
March was the month for the Big Plastic Count, and you will be getting your household results. It is very difficult to avoid so much of the plastic
we try to recycle or have to bin when retailers insist on putting so many 17 items into plastic boxes or bags and covering them with unrecyclable plastic film.

Eco Survey: Thank you to everyone who filled in the survey. There have been several very positive suggestions as to how we, as a church,
could make progress towards Zero Carbon and we will be sharing those with you as soon as we can.

St Martin’s Churchyard: Some of the snowdrops that were planted have flowered in the churchyard and we need to have a go at the brambles again. The two heaps we created between the trees on the far side are beginning to subside and should be full of insects. There are no signs of hedgehogs but patience and persistence in providing them with shelter
will hopefully result in them visiting us. The squirrels are as busy as ever and Lottie continues to keep them in order as we walk to church on Sundays.

The Deanery Eco Group has contacted the council about No Mow May and discovered that the issue is the lack of equipment to mow long
grass. We need to consider whether there are parts of the churchyard that could be set aside, the grass and other plants allowed to grow thus
creating pockets that are wildlife friendly. It looks untidy but ultimately will be of benefit to everyone.

March 2024 Eco Church Update

Spring is in the air and contact has been made with Canterbury College to see if any students are interested in helping in St Martin’s churchyard. We are hoping for a positive response.

News from Pat Crawford (Rural Focus Group): Readers interested in Climate Change can access the UN Global Compact Network UK, an independent not-for-profit organisation that aims to promote charitable sustainable development and promote ethical standards and conduct within businesses and the private sector. Good
news: Globally, 50% more renewable power was achieved in 2023 than 2022.

The National Trust plans to create vast new areas of temperate rainforest in the south-west of England by planting 100,000 trees in north
Devon, an area that was once covered by forests. (Trees sequester carbon.) French farmers ‘sieged’ Paris on 29th January using tractors in order to protest about increasing bureaucracy, falling incomes and competition
from imports. Farmers around the world are suffering Climate Changerelated issues.

It is vital that we support UK’s farmers and growers by buying ‘British’. Check labels for the Union Flag or other means of identifying British produce such as the Red Tractor symbol.

Eco-Fayre in Canterbury: Saturday 11th May from 10:00 am -2:00 pm. at St Peter’s Anglican Church, St Peter’s Street. Please invite
friends. Lots of interesting stalls plus Christian Aid, food and drink etc. This event is supported by the diocesan eco-champions and the ecodeanery.

Environmental Awareness: I hope as many people as possible will download the ‘My Footprint’ app and take on a challenge? Also, please do listen to ‘Call of the Wild’ , a WWF-UK’s podcast.

Choose what you can do but please do something!