Our Eco Church Journey

Our environment is an important focus those attending St. Mary’s and regularly features in our worship, whether as part of eco-focused Services such as Harvest Festival, Sea Sunday or Rogationtide or during our regular worship as part of our prayers of Intercession or reflected in the choice of hymns. We explore the environment with our wider Church family too, building a wild flower garden with our under 5s playgroup (the Tinies Bee and Butterfly World), hosting “bee picnics” in the Churchyard and offering other arts and crafts activities such as building a bug hotel and celebrating the environment as part of our Fun and Faith for All events.

As St. Mary's is a Listed building we are sometimes constrained on improving its sustainability, however, we are doing what we can changing our light bulbs to more energy efficient option such as LED and encouraging lights to be switched off when not in use, recycling as much of our waste as we can and making sustainable choices when sourcing paper, cups for tea and coffee and candles for our Services. However, in the Churchyard we have been able to have more impact. Installing bat boxes, managing when the grass is mowed, setting aside an area planted with wildflowers to attract bees and butterflies and installing a composter and water butts to harvest rainwater, used to keep the plants across the grounds watered among other things.

We encourage others to care for God’s Creation via articles included in our monthly Noticesheets, whether that is ideas for their gardens at home, taking part in the National Butterfly Count or encouraging sustainable decision making such as sending a communal Christmas card. The environment is item on every agenda when the PCC meet, and we are looking at plans for swift boxes and re-assessing planting for wildlife in the Churchyard.

We are very proud to have now received a Eco Church Silver Award and are already making plans to work towards a Gold Award.


This Creationtide we have developed an Eco prayer for 2021-2022 to inspire our continued care for God's creation.

Creator God,

In forming the heavens and the Earth you separated light from the darkness, the waters from the sky and the dry land from the seas. You spoke and things came into being that were not there before. You said “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky, Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds”. And it was so.

We thank you for the creatures of the oceans and seas and the flocks of birds. Creator God, help us to protect the environment so that all life may flourish and find joy in the world you created.

We rejoice in the diversity of animal life and the beauty of your world. Creator God, grant us grace to respect and care for your creation, preserving habitats and protecting endangered species.

You formed us dust of the ground and breathed into us the breath of life. Creator God, remind us of our role as the stewards of your creation, forgive us when we fail to care for our homes, our communities and when we take your creation for granted. Strengthen us to nurture and love our planet and teach us respect the balance of nature.

We thank you for the gift of your creation may we appreciate and respect our world and its people. May we learn to share the Earth, to work it and to care for it. Show us how to live lives which impact our environment in a positive way. So that all who live now and, in the future, may enjoy it in all its glory. Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen

Prayer created using the resources available at: https://www.churchofengland.org/about/environment-and-climate-change/creationtide/creationtide-resources

St._Marys_Mildenhall_Churchyard_Nature_Trail_V2, PDF

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