St Margaret's and the Environment
As a part of the local community, St Margaret's Church is committed both to raising awareness of the threats posed to our planet through climate change and to implementing policies to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions. The Church of England Synod resolution of February 2005 (http://www.shrinkingthefootprint.cofe.anglican.org/cofe_env_sgp_motion.php) commits all churches to "adopt specific and targeted measures to reduce consumption of non-renewable resources".
St Margaret's has been a Fair Trade Church for several years and in March 2008 commissioned an environmental audit on the Church and Church Centre. The results are now being implemented.
In February 2009, St Margaret's Environmental Committee organised a community Energy Day with 23 exhibitors and 16 speakers to raise awareness of environmental and climate change issues with practical advice on how everyone could improve their carbon footprint. A brief summary is given below.
St Margaret's Energy Day
Enthusiasm and practical ideas at St Margaret's Energy day
On Saturday 7th February 2009 St Margaret's Church Centre and the Reg Driver Visitor Centre in Christchurch Park opened their doors to host an event aimed at working with all the community in the St Margaret's area to :-
Save the Planet
The day was an awareness raising event by St Margaret’s Church to encourage the community to look at how it can reduce its impact on the environment. The event included:
a) Talks with subjects including:
- Practical ways to reduce energy consumption
- Climate change and religion
- Strategy issues on Climate Change
- Wildlife and the natural environment.
b) Practical demonstrations:
- A tour of the green design features incorporated into the Reg Driver Visitor Centre in Christchurch Park
- Maintaining your bike by Ipswich's own Bicycle doctor
- How to make better compost
c) Children's activities:
- Mini beast hunting in compost and making a mini beast using recycled materials.
- In Christchurch Park the Ipswich Borough Wildlife and Education Rangers helped children to make bird feeders from recycled materials.
- A competition in conjunction with St Margaret's school where pupils were challenged to create a display that demonstrated what they can do at home to save energy. The entries ranged from posters, stories and collages and to a model of an eco house made with duplo.
d) Stalls and exhibition stands:
The stands were from organisations promoting energy conservation and how to protect and enhance your local environment. Several commercial companies promoted their products showing small scale energy production, energy conservation and greener building materials/techniques.
A quote from an attendee said it was “great to see a vast range of different organisations represented and a really wide cross section of the community popping into the event “. With 23 exhibitors, 16 speakers and over a 100 visitors it was certainly a busy event .
List of talks and Exhibitors:
- A 1 Kilowatt Challenge-How to reduce the power consumption of your home, its electronics and save money by David Faulkner
- 'Saving Energy; Putting Power Back In Your Hands' by Christopher North, Managing Director of Earth & Reed Ltd
- Creating the Greenest County by Ian Dunnett the project manager of Creating the Greenest County
- Transition Towns and Transition Ipswich by Steve Pritchard
- Cycle Ipswich - Cycling now and Intro to Cycle Ipswich by Kevin Ablitt and Peter Miller
- Pink Sky - Cool Confident Cycling by Noelle Peacock
- What people can actually do by John Welsh of the Ipswich Green Living Centre
- Man-made global warming: do we really intend to do anything about it? by Mike Brain of the Ipswich Society
- How to make your solid walled Victorian house more energy efficient by John Taylor the CRed Suffolk Community Advisor
- Climate Change....why religious faith matters even if you're an atheist! by Mark Dowd of Operation Noah
- Biomass Systems, Solar Thermal & Heat Pumps by Charles Dearlove of Ecoexcel
- Sustrans by Anthony Wright
- Creating Community Woodland on your Doorstep by John Taylor of Community Woodland for Ipswich
- Freecycle by Richard Steel of Ipswich Freecycle
- Fair Trade by Jarek Kopec
- Christchurch Park and its Friends by Peter Grimwade of the Friends of Christchurch Park
- Creating a Living landscape for Suffolk by Michael Strand the Development Officer of the Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Bicycle Doctor & rep for 'Cycle Ipswich' -
Creating the Greenest County
Cred Carbon reduction local action for a global challenge
Community Support Officers
Cycle Touring Club
CWIP (Community Woodland for Ipswich)
Earth and Reed Ltd
Ipswich Green Living Centre/Transition Towns
Suffolk Real nappy network
Ripple Food Co-op - Ipswich
Wombat Car Club
Mark Dowd of Operation Noah, one of the speakers at the Energy Day has produced a DVD entitles "God is Green" which is available for loan (Contact firstname.lastname@example.org). The Ark competition run by Operation Noah encourages young people to become involved in considering environmental issues. http://www.operationnoah.org/resources/arkcampaign/making-arks
Further information about environmental activities in Ipswich can be obtained from the Green Living Centre http://www.greenlivingcentre.org.uk/
The eco-congregations web site provides an excellent resource for churches' involvement with environmental issues: http://www.ecocongregation.org/