St Mary's is committed to being an Eco-church. We currently hold the A Rocha Bronze Eco-church Award and are actively working towards achieving the Silver award. Some of the ways in which we promote and focus on sustainable living and the care of God's creation are listed below.

How we preach and teach about environmental issues

· Every year we commit to an annual Sunday where we talk and pray about environmental issues and our hymns and liturgies regularly reflect our commitment to preserving the integrity of creation.

· We also educate our young people about environmental issues. Recently our Youth Group produced a pamphlet on saving electricity. (You can download this pamphlet and a pamphlet on 'Harvest Close to Home' below).

How we look after our church buildings

· Our modern church hall is fully insulated and double glazed and also, we generate electricity from our PV panels on the hall roof. The church lighting is LED.

· Our electricity is generated from renewable sources and charged under a green tariff.

· The church office at 57 Glenwood Road is insulated and double glazed.

· The Vicarage has also recently had loft insulation fitted and there are a number of water butts available for rainwater collection.

· We have made a commitment to not use any disposable plates or cups during our social activities.

· We endeavour to promote recycling both in and outside the church, including participating in a crisp packet recycling scheme.

We have a Living Churchyard

· The churchyard is managed as a living churchyard. We are blessed with rare orchids and our gardener has a plan to manage the churchyard to ensure these rare orchids (and the creatures that depend on them) flourish.

· We have a Bug Church that was constructed and filled by our (h)ALL@4 congregation, and which is sited within the churchyard.

· Members of the congregation participate in tree planting schemes run by the local Town Council, and we also recently planted ‘The Jubilee Tree’ an Irish Yew planted to mark the Platinum Jubilee of the late Queen.

· Whilst we are unable to have vegetable growing facilities in the churchyard, the Vicarage has extensive raised beds for the growing of vegetable and a number of fruit trees. The Vicarage gardener also makes use of the composting facilities available in the vicarage garden.

· The churchyard has a reflective garden area with bench, which we encourage the community to use as an area for peaceful contemplation.

How we engage with the community and the world

· Through a member of our Parochial Church Council we regularly engage with the local Town Council on environmental issues.

· Many other members of our congregation take part in local conservation work, like tree planting and also being part of the regular town litter pick.

· The Thursday Health walks in town are regularly led by members of the congregation.

· We promote car-sharing to church, and this is a regular facet of attending services.

· We have a close relationship with Myra’s Wells, a charity that provides fresh water systems in Burkina Faso and this charity is financially and prayerfully supported.

· The Vicarage toilet is twinned with a toilet in Kabale District Uganda and many members of the congregation also participate in the Toilet Twinning Scheme.

· We are committed to keeping the congregation informed about environmental issues through articles in our monthly parish magazine.

· We are a recognised Fairtrade church, using Fairtrade products in church social activities, and promote the purchasing of Fairtrade products.

How we live our lives

· St Mary’s has appointed Chris Long as our Carbon Neutral Champion, and we have a committee that supports her work, alongside our focus on environmental issues.

· We encourage walking and cycling to church (whilst acknowledging that for some people this is not practicable) and the vicar himself uses as bicycle as his mode of transport around the parish. You will often see him on his bike somewhere around!

· We encourage the congregation to be conscious of the energy use in church and in their own homes. We have a system with our church dishwasher to reduce its use and also aim to minimise the use of electricity where possible. 

· We share practical lifestyle tips from the Town Council Environment committee by email or on Facebook, and have contributed to those tips ourselves.

· We are committed to the 5 R’s (REFUSE, REDUCE, REUSE, REPURPOSE, RECYCLE) and encourage that aspiration in both the life of the church and our lives at home. Our Christmas and Harvest Bazaars are known for their ‘nearly new’ and ‘bric-a-brac’ stalls where much can be reused and repurposed. We also have a sharing food initiative (The Sharing Shed) which is invaluable in not only providing free food to those in need but also reducing food wastage.

· Each year we have a communal Christmas Card scheme which raises money for the Children’s Society.

Harvest_Close_to_Home_September_2021, PDF


Harvest_energy_saving_tips, PDF


AwardCertificate_2023, PDF