Make COP 26 Count – we have joined this campaign to support USPG and Hope for the Future, who are organising numerous churches around the country to raise national and international ambition for climate justice ahead of the UNs 26th Climate Change Conference (COP26), held in Glasgow 1-12 November 2021. We are supporting events around this campaign and are engaging with politicians.
Eco Church Award – we have nearly finalized our application for a A Rocha Silver Eco Church award. As part of this we have calculated our carbon emissions, have begun doing more communications with our congregation and have taken some action to improve biodiversity on church sites.
Wild Bicester – we have partnered with the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust so to encourage everyone in Bicester, whatever their age of background, to get involved in turning their homes and communities into wildlife rich places to create a greener, healthier and wilder Bicester.
Climate Sunday – we have held a special service on the 9th September 2021 that we considered how climate change will affect current and future generations, and how we help reduce impacts of global warming. See a summary of pledges from this church service.
Bike Rack – we now have a bike rack fitted outside of the church.
Actions Individuals and Families can take
We offer a number of things people can do to reduce their environmental footprint, whilst helping our work as an EcoChurch.
Reduce consumption of meat and dairy are sure ways to cut your carbon footprint by up to a quarter, whilst also reducing the amount of growing space needed to feed you. This environment win-win-win, also reduces water consumption and tackles biodiversity loss. It is heralded as one simple way which everyone can help.
Switch energy suppliers to 100% renewable cuts 10% of your carbon footprint. There are plenty of suppliers providing this as a service including the big six.
Decarbonise your home. Heating your home is 15% of the average carbon footprint. Insulate it properly in the roof and put in some draught proofing, and you’ll save hundreds a year. Go further and insulate walls and hot water systems, upgrade windows, and install thermostatic radiator valves, and you’ll save 40% on bills and footprint. If you want to go the ‘whole hog’, then install a heat pump, and use just renewable electricity to heat your home, making it arguably zero carbon.
Whilst the Green Homes Grant will pay for two thirds of the bill of these measures, it’s a great time to make these changes.
Make your garden nature friendly. Now is the time to bring nature back into your garden. Whatever size your garden you can encourage nature to come there, by taking some simple steps; growing pollinator friendly plants, putting up a bird feeder, composting, making a hole in the fence for hedgehogs or making a small water source.
Cut down single use plastic. With mile wide islands of plastic waste in the ocean and with marine life being severely affected by plastic waste, it is time to cut down on single use plastic. Doing this realistically means shopping differently. Try using a veg and milk delivery service or use a zero waste shop and refill detergent bottles.
Decarbonise your transport. Nearly 40% of our carbon footprint comes from travel. One simple thing to do is to walk or cycle and cut out the vast majority of your car journeys. If you want to replace your car, go electric, the ranges are great these days, and savings for the average driver are £1,000 a year! Choosing not to fly also makes a massive difference.
Lobby for change. Politicians can provide regulation, incentives, and other economic stimulus to enable change. You can write to your council, MP or even sign this simple declaration – an open letter to the prime minister.
Bicester Green – Bikes, Furniture, Electrical Items and Refills
Nothing But Footprints – Zero Waste Shop
St Edburg’s is conscious about its environmental impact on the world and is working to improve it for current and future generations. We believe that we are custodians of God’s world and should do all we can to limit the impacts of climate change, improve biodiversity and inspire our community to take action to reduce their own environmental footprint.
The Eco Church group has been established to look at how we may do more to care for God’s earth, in response to the talk from A Rocha. We have joined the A Rocha Eco Church programme, which involves assessing the parishes impact on the environment, setting a trajectory to reducing carbon emissions whilst improving biodiversity, alongside engagement with our congregation to reduce its impact. We are proud that we have now been awarded a bronze eco church award.
St Edburg’s is at the centre of a quickly growing town, which we hope to influence to be more sustainable. As such we also engage with politicians and partner with local organisations.