Eco Church

"Reducing the causes of climate change is essential to the life of faith. It is a way to love our neighbour and to steward the gift of creation." - Archbishop Justin Welby.

The Church of England believes that responding to the climate crisis is an essential part of its responsibility to safeguard Gods creation and achieve a just world. The Churchs environment programme exists to enable the whole Church to address this – in faith, practice and mission.

To help the parish of Mickleham achieve some of these objectives the Eco Group was set up in 2022. We have registered as an Eco Church with the A Rocha Award Scheme and have recently been awarded the Eco Silver Award covering all areas of church life, including: Worship and Teaching, Management of Church Buildings, Management of Church Land, Community / Global Engagement and Lifestyle.

The initial focus has been on the Management of Church Land - focusing on gains for wildlife and ecological benefit. As part of this the group has co-ordinated a team of volunteers to:

      Plant over 80 metres of hedgerow

      Re-distribute and use the churchyard compost heap

      Plant a fruit orchard

      Replace the diseased box hedge round the Garden of Remembrance with a lavender and rosemary border

      Weed and mulch the new hedge and trees

      Get PCC approval for a new mowing regime where areas are left to grow in a wilder way for the benefit of wildlife.  Central to this is the three year rotational mowing regime in the new churchyard, in which parts of the meadow will be left unmown each year to enable animals, plants and insects to complete their natural life cycles

      Put up information boards around the churchyard explaining what is happening and why

In the interests of trying to encourage biodiversity in the churchyard, as far as possible we are phasing out the use of chemical herbicides and pesticides harmful to wildlife.  In addition we are phasing out the use of new or single use plastic. One recent development has been that we have discontinued the use of oasis’ – a soft green material used for flower arranging.  This material, made up of tiny plastic beads bonded together with chemicals, when discarded breaks down into tiny fragments which are then taken up by wildlife with devastating consequences for small organisms.  The replacement, using scrunched up chicken wire has been equally effective in the display of church flowers. For more information about sustainable and eco friendly flowers please follow this link.

An Energy Audit has recently been received which evaluates the Churchs energy footprint.  Work is now required to formulate a phased plan to implement the findings.  Reducing our energy footprint is not only good for the planet (less use of fossil fuels), but also good for the associated reduction in our costs.

What wildlife have we found in the first year?

Bats - 4 species in the church:  Serotine, Brown Long eared, Common Pipistrelle, Soprano Pipistrelle

Plants - 120 flowering plants

Butterflies - 15 species

Lichens - 182 (survey of 2016/17)

Records of bees, birds, mammals and reptiles are still to be collated

For more information please contact David Kennington, Chair of the Eco Group