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Green Church Showcase: Other highlights

05 November 2021

Biomass boilers, tree-planting and allotments — a few more initiatives

Tree-planting in Nairobi

Tree-planting in Nairobi

MANY inspiring and impressive projects narrowly failed to be shortlisted for the Green Church Showcase, but deserve mention here. Among them is All Saints’ Cathedral, in Nairobi, Kenya, which has adopted a portion of public forest and led the planting of 3000 trees. Besides helping to absorb carbon dioxide, the planting sought to raise awareness of the destructive deforestation across Kenya, which is exacerbating problems caused by climate change such as unpredictable rains, drought, and locust swarms.

Thousands of miles away, another Anglican cathedral, in Bradford, has also been planting trees. Bradford Cathedral have now set up three new woodlands in the city, working with the council and woodland trust, alongside a plethora of other eco-friendly initiatives, including dozens of bug hotels, a wild-flower meadow, and the installation of solar panels.

At the Epiphany, Austwick, near Lancaster, a broken oil-fired boiler was replaced with a biomass one, saving as much as 11 tonnes of carbon dioxide and about £1000 in heating costs a year. Another approach has been taken by the Holy Apostles’ and Martyrs’, on the Wirral, in Merseyside. The congregation there identified transport as a significant contributor to climate change, and launched, in response, an anti-car-idling campaign to improve air quality.

Using loaned air-quality monitors, and collaborating with a school, they were able to expose the amount of fumes being pumped into the atmosphere — toxic both for human health and that of the planet — and spread the anti-idling message throughout their community.

In Liverpool, St Cuthbert’s turned its main lawn into a community allotment, recycling materials foraged from the parish into a collection of raised beds made available for people living in the area to garden in. A wild-flower meadow was created around the allotments, emphasising the overlapping aims of the project to nurture the environment, improve mental health, connect with God through nature, and serve the community.

St Mary Magdalene’s, Woodstock, a historic church in the Cotswolds Woodstock, overhauled its run-down and neglected churchyard, converting it into a haven for wild flowers, insects, and wildlife, and for tourists and visitors to Woodstock to enjoy God’s creation. New trees have been planted to absorb carbon dioxide, as well as provide more blossom and fruit for animals.

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