Now the lockdown is easing and the days are getting longer, churches across the diocese are taking the opportunity to get environmentally active. Here are just a few stories from our churches this month.
Hazelnut Community Farm has been awarded a grant of £2000 to create a mobile art exhibition around the themes of faith and climate crisis. The exhibition will be launched during the Season of Creation, which falls in September, and will be hosted by churches over the following months. Hazelnut plans to gather artists together to reflect theologically on the climate crisis, with the creative arts being the outworking of this time together. If you’d like to find out more, and potentially create or host some art, please contact Rev John White.
In the Draycot benefice, fantastic links between the churches and schools have seen children get involved in the Eco Church agenda. Schools were invited to join the churches in observing an Eco Lent last year, and since then have worked together on joint projects as part of the Eco Church award scheme, including undertaking wildlife surveys in the churchyard, and painting and installing bird boxes. It’s been hugely encouraging to see how pupils have been inspired to take their own, personal actions as a result. For instance, one child has raised £1,270 through a 28 day sponsored litter pick, and has motivated her class to all work towards green Blue Peter badges.
Also in Wiltshire, St Giles Stanton St Quintin has been part of the Living Churchyard scheme for many years, but during the challenges of recent months has found the church grounds to be more of an important haven than ever. The team have produced a colourful leaflet that explains what to look for at different times of the year and has a map showing the wildflower and nature areas. Liz Cullen, one of the team, says, “Pride may be a sin, but we are a little proud of the work carried out at St Giles. Churchyards are so important as places for quiet contemplation but also as a refuge and home for native plants and animals.”
And finally, as a Diocese our recent divestment announcement is getting noticed, and we’ve been invited to take part in an international Christian climate movement webinar with participants from across the globe to speak about our decision, and encourage other churches and dioceses to follow suit. The Diocese of Bristol will share the stage with US environmentalist Bill McKibben as well as Bishops from across 3 continents.
If you have any stories to share, please contact Clare Fussell at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: school and church activity in the Draycot benefice