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Silver and Gold

by Michael Ford last modified 12 Mar, 2021 10:03 PM

In this Eco Diocese, there are a number of parishes working their way successfully through Eco Church Awards from A Rocha, from Bronze to Gold.

Aiming for Net Zero in our churches by 2030 is a challenge, but many of our parishes are meeting it head on, and making progress.

Alderholt has recently achieved its Silver Award, and Churchwarden Christine Hensel explains:

"During Creationtide last year [1st September to 4th October 2020] our Vicar Rev Simon Woodley preached a series of sermons in which he urged us to consider our responsibility as Christians to the environment and asked for a volunteer to look at the EcoChurch website and complete a questionnaire.

"As a result, we reached the Silver Award level but more importantly this has enabled us to see where we are falling short as well as what we are doing right!

"We have since set in motion a complete replacement of our outdated Church Hall lighting and members of the congregation have reviewed such topics as their use of plastics and meat consumption as well as those who are constantly extolling the benefits of cycling.

"One member has become rather fanatical about picking up litter. (It would seem that Red Bull is the most popular drink, at least amongst those who choose to discard the can through their car window!)

Silver and Gold- churchyard bat boxes
Bat boxes

"At the entrance to our churchyard we have a sign that conveys our aim: “This Churchyard is managed with Wildlife in mind!”. We have an enthusiastic team of folk who tend our churchyard with the aim of creating a managed and tidy appearance in a well-attended active churchyard, whilst at the same time providing a variety of habitats to benefit the wild flowers and grasses, glow-worms, bats, and other wildlife that make our churchyard such a remarkable and attractive place in which to remember the dead, and to convey a message of hope and encouragement to the living.

Silver and Gold- Churchyard Clear Up
Churchyard Clear Up

"In November each year we have a working party in a big Churchyard Clear Up, cutting back overgrown hedges and shrubs, raking strimmed grass and weeding. The reward is Fish and Chips for lunch!

"Our array of compost heaps provide a source of amusement and admiration. Our changing succession of Spring Flowers is particularly impressive with the appearance of Snowdrops then Crocuses then Wild Daffodils then Bluebells."

Silver and Gold- churchyard compost bins
Compost bins

And the parish is not resting on their laurels. Vicar Simon Woodley says decisively:

"We're very proud and pleased to have got this award. Now to work on Gold!"

Silver and Gold- churchyard daffodils

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