Eco Church News September 2020

Gold Eco Award for St Mary’s Church, Beaminster

We were thrilled when it was announced on 21st July that we had satisfied the panel of judges from Eco Church that we had achieved the Gold award level.

The Eco Church team at St Mary’s put together a fine PowerPoint presentation that was examined by the panel of judges prior to a 90-minute grilling using Zoom in which all seven Eco Group Members took part. Our case for the Award included varied activity within the Church, such as more environmentally friendly heating (new eco boiler), toilet twinning, and care for wildlife in the graveyard.

We are now exploring the potential for solar panels on the roof, and aim to be carbon neutral by 2030. We are encouraging other churches to join the scheme. Already seven churches in the Beaminster Team have joined, Netherbury already have a Silver Award. There has been interest shown by other denominations and churches further afield following the Gold Award announcement.

A further key element in the case for the Award was the environmental work within the community, for example litter picking, and organisation of events, including the Environment Fair of July 2018. Working closely with our Area ECO Group Gill Perrott, as a co-founder, pointed to our tree planting in Beaminster, our support to conservation, and outdoor teaching at St Mary’s Academy, and cooperation with the Town Council to draft a Beaminster Climate and Long Term Resilience Plan. In all this St Mary’s is a regional pioneer. It is the first parish church in Salisbury Diocese, eighth Church of England, and only the twelfth Gold award to be given in England & Wales.

Eco Tip

The tip for this month is to pick up litter if you can do so safely. NB Saturday 3 October a Community Litter Pick. Meet at 10.30 outside the Public Hall. All equipment to keep you safe provided.

– Gillian Perrott