Churches Green News


Hello and welcome to 7th ENews of 2019,
For those of you who are new to our ENews – We aim to send you information and events that may be of interest to you, all in one email rather than many throughout each month, one part being general information and updates, the second being news of events / dates for your diary and the other part being links to useful websites. 
If you are a minister or administrator of a church and prefer to nominate a Green Champion to be your church’s point of contact then please let us know who that person might be…. and of course if you want to unsubscribe at any time simply reply to this email and let us know.
General info and updates
  • The fashion industry is responsible for enormous amounts of water consumption (32 million Olympic size swimming pools per year) and CO2 emissions (8% of global greenhouse emissions – and growing fast). Also, textile dyeing is the second largest polluter of clean water globally, only after agriculture. Then there is the enormous waste creation (148 million tons by 2030) and land use (115 million hectares by 2030), and we haven’t even started on labour conditions yet…Enough numbers, time for action. Time for Slow Fashion Season! See Slow Fashion for details of how a group of people are encouraging each of us to commit to buying no brand new clothes for 3 months. And if you haven’t alreasdy seen it Fashions Dirty Secrets is back on the BBC iPlayer Please do watch it – you will be amazed at what you didn’t know already – I was!
  • Our free tour of the MVV Energy from Waste plant (aka the incinerator) went very well – 16 of us were shown around the huge building which disposes of non-recyclable waste from Plymouth and the surrounding area, turning our rubbish into electricity. If you couldn’t make it but would like to go, please let us know (reply to this email) then if we get enough names we will hopefully be able to arrange another visit.
  • Now is a good time to look around the trees in your churchyard and look for pests and diseases. A copy of our guidance notes on trees in churchyards  is attached. Please look at the Observatree website which will give you some idea of what to look for. The outlook for trees in the UK are grim and churchyards can play an important role saving our trees. They are particularly interest to hear of any ash trees infected with ash dieback disease. The symptoms are very clear this time of year. Please let David Curry know if you have any infected ash trees; the Devon Ash Dieback Forum have produced a number of helpful leaflets on the topic.
  • Hopefully you will have all been watching the BBC programme War On Plastic with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Anita Rani. If not this link will enable you to catch up – some eye opening revelations included.
Some good news
  • Some fantastic news announced at Environment Plymouth’s recent 2nd birthday celebration earlier this month – Plymouth has gained city wide Plastic-Free Status by Surfers Against Sewage (SAS). This is as well as the Plymouth Waterfront Plastic-Free Status we had already been awarded. This was made possible by huge numbers of businesses, schools, community groups, families and individuals pledging to cut out 3 pieces of single-use plastic from their lives and committing to reducing a further 3. The pledge form is attached if you / your family / church / community group can swell those numbers, as well as a list of ideas of what your church could pledge to change. See this article in The Herald for more about this award.
  • Also in Plymouth – PCC have just been awarded a cash sum to improve our parks and open spaces and they also want to declare part of the City Centre as a  proposed conservation area – all positive stuff.
Some not quite such good news
  • In a recent report in the Guardian we read that the world’s rivers are ‘awash with dangerous levels of antibiotics’- Hundreds of sites in rivers around the world from the Thames to the Tigris are awash with dangerously high levels of antibiotics, the largest global study on the subject has found. Antibiotic pollution is one of the key routes by which bacteria are able develop resistance to the life-saving medicines, rendering them ineffective for human use – see the full article here
Upcoming events / dates for your diary


If you are hosting any relevant events you would like us to help publicise please let me know in time for inclusion in the ENews
  • Saturday 22nd June, 6 – 9pm Celebrating 10 years of Transition Plymouth – an event in Freedom Park, food by The Real Junk Food Project – see poster / flyer attached
  • Wednesday 26 June, join CAFOD (and many other organisations of course) at a Climate Lobby of Parliament, as they speak up to protect our world from climate change. Join them outside Parliament in London, meet others from your constituency and have real conversations with your MPs face to face, and play your part in responding to our beautiful, common home. They want as many people to turn out on the streets as possible to make demands heard. ‘Together we can create a noise outside Parliament that can’t be ignored. Together we can turn the tide.’ Tell CAFOD you’re going and they will email you details about the day and transport plans as they unfold. Register here
  • Thursday 4th July Environment Plymouth will be hosting another Plastics Workshop in conjunction with Thrive Plymouth at Plymouth Guildhall between 11.30am and 2.00pm. It will be a lunch and learn event so please bring a ‘plastic free’ lunch to enjoy, or share, as you take part.  Places are free but must be booked here
  • The Viridor Chelson Meadow recycling facility does not offer public tours, but they have allowed us to offer you a guided tour.We have provisionally arranged 3 dates – Tuesday 30th July at 2pm, Tuesday 10th September at 2pm and Monday 16th September at 10.30am. Numbers are strictly limited to 6 per visit, and we want to encourage only those of you who will use what you learn to spread the word amongst your churches, friends and families to help raise the current levels of recycling in the city. Apologies, but this isn’t the trip for those who just fancy a look around. Numbers will be further limited by the fact that there will be stairs, and steps without handrails involved so it is unsuitable for anyone with a mobility problem. Then… although most PPE can be provided it is essential for safety boots to be worn and they do not have a huge range of sizes to loan out. So… if you would like to come and fit the above criteria please email me, and don’f forget to say whether you have your own safety boots or if not, what size you would need.
  • Advance Notice; Friday 8th November, 7.30pm Plymouth’s own Professor John Spicer will be asking ‘Is there a Christian Response to our Biodiversity Crisis?’  at Plymouth University. Please pop the date in your diary and ask your church to put a ‘save the date’ in their newsletter
Information links
We will aim to only send you information once about a particular website that maybe of interest to some of you; you are then invited to subscribe yourself so that we do not duplicate information which can be off-putting
  • Green Christian exists to share Green insights with Christians and to offer Christian insights to the wider Green movement. Since they were formed in 1981 the ecological crisis has continued and deepened. They seek more urgently to live gently on the earth, encouraging one another in discipleship which accepts our impact on God’s creation as a whole. This includes:- daily prayer, a simpler lifestyle, public witness, peaceful campaigning, encouragement to one another and the provision of resources, including a magazine, groups, retreats and conferences.
  • John Ray Initiative connecting environment, science and Christianity. The link will take you to the part of their website that features a radio interview entitled Climate Change, Biodiversity Loss and Faith
A final thought to leave you with….  
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever does.”
Margaret Mead 1901-1978
As always, please do let us know any hints and tips you have to share with others, and any relevant events for us to publicise.
on behalf of PCGA steering committee
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook @ChurchesGreen