Churches Green News

Hello and welcome to 11th 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
  • Friends of the Earth have produced information on how cities in the UK are performing in environmental ways. For more information on how Plymouth is doing please see How climate friendly is your community?… spoiler alert; if it was on a school report it would say ‘could do better’
  • Thanks to the Devon Wildlife Trust, Saving Devon’s Treescapes has been shortlisted for a Tesco “Bags of Help” Centenary Grant of between £10,000 and £25,000.  If they secure the greatest number of tokens in the boxes by the checkouts at Tesco’s (and become the first place in three shortlisted good causes) they will win the £25k award. So please help by putting tokens in the box whenever you shop in Tesco until 31st December and please spread the word to colleagues, friends and family, including on social media and at any events you’re running.
  • Thanks to the Big Lottery National Community Fund Pigshill and Clarrick Woods CIC are starting a Volunteer Woodlanders programme. If you live in the area – the woods overlook Millbrook – and would like to help them to prepare for this winter’s tree planting and bring the woods back into healthy sustainable management after years of deterioration and disease, then see more details in the attached poster / flyer or contact Richard
  • Trees Matter – Plymouth Tree Partnership have various talks and events – please see the attached programme from now until March next year or look at the website Plymouth Tree Partnership
  • Environment Plymouth have extended their competition, sponsored by South West Water, to win a full size water butt for your garden or one of five Hydrao ‘disco’ shower heads that change colour as you use more water! To Enter the free prize draw ‘Get into Water’  simply make a pledge and say what you will do to save water – whether it is taking a quicker shower, or not running the tap when you brush your teeth, there are lots of ways to use less water in day to day activities, and remember, small changes make a big difference.  Play your part, and be Water Smart. The results will be announced at their next meeting on the morning of 11th October. Please send your ‘pledges’, the more innovative the better, to Jackie by email
  • Nature Plymouth continues to have many FREE family friendly activities and volunteering opportunities all over the city including Poole Farm – please see the attached flyer/ poster for more information
  • The Tamara Landscape Partnership have asked for people to complete a questionnaire to help give them a good picture of people’s views and aspirations around local food, and every completed survey will be entered into a prize draw to win a £50 voucher which can be spent with Tamar Grow Local. Their proposed scheme aims to make the landscape more robust and less susceptible to a range of pressures, through a programme of interconnected and substantial projects including heritage, land management, river usage and food. The survey can be found here and needs to be completed and submitted before 1st November please.
Some good news
Rome is trying to become more environmentally friendly by offering free metro tickets to travellers who re-cycle plastic bottles using machines set up in three of the Italian capital’s stations. The initiative, which was launched in July, has proved so popular that 350,000 bottles have been recycled. It will soon be extended across the metro network and run until July 2020, the city’s public transport company ATAC says. The machines process 20,000 bottles daily, and on average customers carry between 15 and 20 bottles at a time, ATAC says. To read more click here
Some not quite such good news
So-called greenwashing confuses us all – what does biodegradable and compostable really mean? Are we helping the environment as much as we think by using cups and bags etc labelled this way? Have a watch of this YouTube clip to try to understand more…. and look out for our own local expert Professor Richard Thompson from Plymouth University, showing examples including one of a ‘biodegradable’ carrier bag which after being buried in the ground for 3 years, was still perfectly usable, albeit very grubby.
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
  • Monday 21st October 7 – 8pm at the Sherwell Centre – the Problem with Plastics In this insightful free public lecture, popular TV broadcaster and presenter Liz Bonnin reveals the full scale of the problem across our oceans. She draws from her environmental experience and academic expertise to pose the hard-hitting questions on the consequences of plastic pollution, exploring how science can offer the solutions to one of the biggest environmental disasters of our time. For more information or to book (recommended) click here
  • Tuesday 22nd October – Christian Climate Action meeting at Union Corner, Union Street, Plymouth PL1 3HW to discuss how churches / Christians can get involved with Extinction Rebellion (Christian Climate Action is the church arm of ER) to fight Climate Change. Doors open at 7 for a 7.30 start.This event is FREE but please book here so that they know how many people to expect. Please bring your church friends and family to share and encourage ideas for what churches can do to work against climate change.
  • Wednesday 23rd October, 11am – 4pm – Always Apples festival. Devonport Guildhall will be full of activities which you can get involved in, including apple pressing, making smoothies on the smoothie bike, crafty activities and sampling the delights of the food demonstrations.   It is a place to find out what is going on across the cities and this year there will be a special display of the community gardens with the community growers who have been part of Food Plymouth’s Growing Community Abundance. FREE entry. For more information contact Tess Wilmott
  • Thursday 24th October – PCGA Tour of the MVV Energy for Waste Plant (aka the incinerator) 6pm. This event is FREE to attend but places are limited so please book here
  • Thursday 24th October Saltash Guildhall 7.30 pm Environmental Footprints: If we follow them where will they lead? Come and listen to a scientist’s view of where we are heading. Open discussion to follow. See poster / flyer attached or for more information email Dave Pemberton
  • Tuesday 29th October 6.30 – 9pm, Ocean Studio Royal William Yard. Plymouth Social presents the case for the Green New Deal. Ann Pettifor is an economist, New Economics Foundation fellow and author. Her latest book is The Case for the Green New Deal, from Verso Books. Ann will be at the second Plymouth Social Club event, in partnership with Real Ideas Organisation – where they will be exploring ideas and tools for a new economy, and fairer and more just society. FREE tickets for those who need them, £5 for everyone else. For more information see here
  • Saturday 2nd November Parks and People, Stronger Together FREE to attend and refreshments/lunch provided.  Organised by the National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces and is part of the Parks Action Group – a national liaison body between the greenspace sector and Government. The focus is on volunteer and community groups, and those that work in parks – and how we can work better together for the future of our green spaces. To book click here
  • Friday 8th November, 7.30 – 9pm Plymouth’s own Professor John Spicer will be asking ‘Is there a Christian Response to our Biodiversity Crisis?’  at Sherwell Centre – free entry. More information here
  • Wednesday 27th November 8pm, Newton and Noss Environment Group – ‘How are local authorities responding to the Climate Emergency?’ Speaker John Green, Low Carbon Officer at Plymouth City Council – flyer / poster attached – more info contact Peter Brown
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
Plymouth Beach Clean volunteers work very hard all year round to clear our beaches of all sorts of rubbish; litter dropped, fishing nets and hooks and other plastic and debris, including nurdles washed up onto our local coastline. See their website for more information as well as details of how you can get involved by signing up for their newsletter or joining a beach clean – the next one will be at Bovisand on Sunday 20th October at 2pm.
And finally, I pass on a Lutheran prayer that Graham, Bishop of Norwich read out at a recent Environmental Working Group meeting in London, in the context of their debate on the climate crisis and aiming for a target of net zero, before all the solutions of how to get to that target are yet in place;
‘O God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. 
Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.’
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
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