Churches Green News, 7th edition of 2020

Hello and welcome to our 7th ENews of 2020,
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
  • Climate Sunday is a new initiative organised by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland with support from Operation Noah and other charities including CAFOD, Christian Aid, Tearfund and A Rocha UK. They are encouraging local churches to hold a local Climate Sunday at any time during the 12 months starting on 6 September 2020. During their local Climate Sunday, they invite each church to do one or more of three things:
  • ·        Climate service: Hold a climate-focused service, to explore the theological and scientific basis of creation care and action on climate, to pray, and to commit to action
    ·        Commit: Make a commitment as a local church community to taking long-term action to reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions.
    ·        Call: Join with other churches and wider society by adding its name to a common call for the UK Government to take much bolder action on climate change in this country in advance of the COP26, climate talks in Glasgow in 2021, and to strengthen its credibility to lead the international community to adopt a step change in action at COP26.
    The culmination of the campaign will be a national Climate Sunday event on Sunday 5 September 2021, to share church commitments and pray for bold action and courageous leadership at COP26. Chief Executive of A Rocha UK, Andy Atkins, and chair of the coalition, said: ‘Our vision is to leave a lasting legacy of thousands of UK churches better equipped to address this critical issue as part of their normal discipleship and mission; and to make a very significant contribution to civil society efforts to secure adequate national and international action at the COP26 conference.’ Please consider how your church can look at Creation Care and prompt your leaders if you are not a leader yourself…. For more information see Operation Noah website
  • Most if not all of you will be familiar with the Fair Trade coffee brand Café Direct, but did you know you can now order it direct on a one-off or subscription basis? You can even arrange for it to be sent direct to someone as a gift…. See the website for more details.
  • Have you considered how we can all help make our council tax go a bit further? We have all seen the beautiful wild flowers growing on our verges and roundabouts – not only is this re-wilding our city to benefit biodiversity; not just insects but other creatures like hedgehogs whose numbers have declined rapidly in the last couple of decades, but it is also saving the council money by not cutting back the ‘weeds’. But there could be an added saving if all householders took responsibility for the area immediately outside their home – it would save the use of some nasty chemicals too which the council would use to do the same job… maybe you could also take responsibility for a neighbour’s frontage too, especially if they are elderly, disabled or even ultra-busy? PCC is trying to cut back the use of these chemical sprays, but we still have a long way to go before they eliminate their use entirely.
Some good news:
  • Great news – Plymouth has recently been awarded a whopping windfall of £51million to improve the area for walkers, cyclists and greener travel. A dozen projects can now get under starters’ orders, thanks to the Transforming Cities Fund which aims to help the city shift up a gear in tackling climate change and making sustainable transport more attractive and convenient.The projects aim to reduce congestion, improve air quality and help the city prosper by investing in infrastructure to improve public and sustainable transport connectivity on key commuter routes across the city. To read more about what is being proposed see here
Some not quite such good news:
  • Whilst the intial thoughts were that this pandemic had eased the burden on our environment (less traffic / factory / airline pollution), now it appears there are more plastic masks in the seas than jellyfish. And that’s just masks – there is also a whole load more Covid-related plastic like hand-sanitiser bottles and gloves, all of which significantly adds to the risk to wildlife. For more info see here
Upcoming (virtual) 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
  • Wednesday 22nd July 7 – 8.30pm (online) Global Book Club Plymouth will be looking at 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari, all welcome – for joining details contact S Kay (flyer attached)
  • Thursday 23rd July 6 – 7pm – Devon Wildlife Trust online event – Averting the Insect Apocalypse: Illustrated Talk by Professor Dave Goulson, Professor of Biology at University of Sussex, specializing in bee ecology.  This is a free event – to find out more or to book see here. This talk supports The Wildlife Trust’s Action for Insects campaign, for more information visit
  • Tuesday 28th July 6.30 – 8pm via Zoom – Plymouth Green and Science Club invite you to join them to discuss How to Argue With a Racist: History, Science, Race and Reality by Adam Rutherford. The discussion will be hosted by Professor John Summerscales of Plymouth University, and it is not essential that you have read the book. ‘Race is real because we perceive it. Racism is real because we enact it. Stereotypes and myths about race are expressed not just by overt racists, but also by well-intentioned people whose experience and cultural baggage steer them towards views that are not supported by the modern study of human genetics. Yet, if understood correctly, science and history can be powerful allies against racism, granting the clearest view of how people actually are, rather than how we judge them to be.’ With thanks to the Eden Project and the University of Plymouth for their support Zoom meeting details
  • Thursday 30th July, 6pm – Plymouth Cycling Campaign open Zoom meeting. Are you new to cycling? Getting back on your bike again? Wondering where it’s safe to cycle in Plymouth? Feeling a bit wobbly? Wanting to cycle to work but wondering if there’s a safe route? Wondering how to fix your old bike? Got ideas on how to make cycling in Plymouth better and safer? If so then this could be just the meeting for you. There’ll be experienced cyclists from the Campaign and they are inviting trainers and sustainable transport officers and Plymouth councillors for the latest on everything about cycling in Plymouth. For more details contact Clare Smith
  • Thursday 6 August 2020 18:00 – 19:00  Devon Wildlife Trust free online event –  The Colourful Lives of Devon’s Marine Animals. To find out more or to book see here
  • Sunday 6 September Climate Sunday – we may or may not be back worshipping together in the same building but now is the time to plan … but do feel free to change the date… see above
  • Advance notice – 11 – 27 September is the time Keep Britain Tidy have set for their Great British September Clean…. see their website for more details – maybe as a church you could organise a community clean up?
Information links
We will aim to only send you information once about a particular website or organisation 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
Zero waste shopping is gaining popularity; the idea of not having to contribute to the huge problem of pastic packaging is something we all aspire to – in Plymouth we have a few options where we can get items refilled, but the most comprehensive range of goods being sold loose is at Jar  in Notte Street (where the Arts Centre used to be). Simply take along your own bags or containers which will be weighed, then fill them up with your choice of goods – priced by weight of course. They even do deliveries by bike…. Have a look at the wide range of goods available to order online for delivery or collection (min order £10) or in person at their shop, including weekly chemical-free veg boxes of locally grown produce – you will be amazed!
I have also attached a hastily assembled list of where you can buy other waste-free items / refills…. please let me know of any I have missed and I can keep the list up to date.
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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