The ECO committee at St Mary’s Beaminster hosted the event under the title Think Eco, Go Eco. The fair marked the first major expression of the growing partnership between the church and the local community on environmental matters.
The well-attended event was jointly opened by Sir Oliver Letwin, MP for West Dorset and Bishop Karen. Sir Oliver praised the beauty of Beaminster and its surrounding area and the dedication of all the local volunteers putting so much effort into keeping it that way.
Bishop Karen stressed the commitment of the diocese to environmental issues as amply demonstrated by St Mary’s working with the community in Beaminster to raise awareness and take action. She then led all those present in a prayer to thank God for the wonderful world he has given us, one that we need to look after for our descendants.
The fair showcased the wide range of organisations with an interest in caring for the environment including Dorset Waste Partnership, Beaminster’s primary and secondary schools, the local beekeepers and allotments associations, Friends of the Earth and Litter Free Dorset, Hilfield Priory, Woodland Care, ECO homes, the Joliba charity (combating climate change in Mali), as well as A Rocha the charity behind the Eco Church initiative.
Sailor and campaigner for reduced plastic use, Anne Baker, introduced the evening showing of the film A Plastic Ocean. This attracted a good audience between 50-60 people with interesting discussion over refreshments afterwards.
Chair of St Mary’s Church Eco GroupDr Gill Perrott said, “the response has been overwhelming. We’ve been working hard as a church to get the environmental message across. Teaming up with the community through Think Eco, Go Eco has allowed us to reach many more people through this exciting event.”
The Revd Canon David Baldwin Beaminster Team Rector added, “It was a fantastic day. A great example of how the church can work with the local community on an issue of vital importance. Let us hope this is first of many such environmental collaborations.”