2023 News and Events
What is City Nature Challenge?
From Friday 28th April – Monday 1st May, Coventry itook part in City Nature Challenge, inviting everyone to share their wildlife sightings from windows, gardens, local parks, city streets - wherever you were in the country, all data collected contributed towards conservation and monitoring efforts both in your local area and on a national-scale.
You did not have to be an expert or even know the name of the species you’ve seen to take part! You cpould simply download the free iNaturalist app, take a photo of the nature you find, upload and share. The app helps you identify what you’ve found, and a community of wildlife experts will work together to confirm the exact species.
It’s more important than ever that we know what wildlife is living in the UK and where it is located – and what species are missing from the map. By recording nature sightings in your neighbourhood during the City Nature Challenge, you could provide important data to help tackle the ecological emergency that is threatening species across the UK.
City Nature Challenge Coventry was organised by a collaboration of groups who care about recording nature, from the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, Warwick and Coventry University, The City Council Parks and Ecology teams, and the Canal and River Trust. We’re also working closely with Warwickshire Biological Records Centre who are leading the Warwickshire and Solihull City Nature Challenge!
Sign up for iNaturalist training
To learn more about recording nature using iNaturalist or the City Nature Challenge, there were iNaturalist trainings:
- Tuesday 11th April 11:00 – 14:00 at Allesley Scout Hut: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/inaturalist-training-city-nature-challenge-tickets-596978577997
- Saturday 15th April 11:00 – 14:00 at War Memorial Park Visitor Centre: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/inaturalist-training-city-nature-challenge-tickets-598316610087?aff=ebdssbdestsearch
Take part in our events
School strike for the Climate? Why was Greta Thunberg, a Swedish school girl, on strike about Climate Change? See her TED talk.
GREEN ENERGY: Thousands of churches have switched to Parish Buying. Has your church switched to a cheaper and 100% green energy supplier yet? Check out Parish Buying. For news about The Big Energy Switch, click on our Get Involved page
Save money! Is your church paying VAT at 20% for electricity and gas? You should be paying VAT at 5%; for details see http://fiec.org.uk/what-we-do/strand-blog/vat-on-gas-and-electricity
New Housing Developments: with a number of new developments springing up in the Diocese, let's make sure that these are built for the benefit of those who live there, both people and wildlife. Read the Wildlife Trusts' vision report.
2021 News and Events
Creationtide Resources from the Diocese of Exeter, including ecumenical resources: https://mcusercontent.com/543e9623f7379d75d88235209/files/5d8b6330-cdb7-4254-af05-a8d0ef582177/Creationtide_edit.pdf
2020 News and Events
See The Lord Mayor's Peace Lecture November 2020 given by Professor Sir David King on Climate Change.
Congratulations to Chelmsford Cathedral and Revd Imogen Nay, Canon for Evangelism and Discipleship for their Cathedral Silver Eco Church Award; Imogen was formerly vicar of St Andrew's Rugby when it gained a Gold Award. See https://www.chelmsford.anglican.org/news/article/eco-church-success-in: 'Greening the Church - online conference’ was hosted by Chelmsford Cathedral on Saturday 13 June. The conference took place on the ‘Greening the Church’ Facebook group (www.facebook.com/ groups/727013254703425).
Green Christian's new seven week course, Radical Presence, took place twice, in May and July 2020 as an initiative to help churches build a more sustainable, just and compassionate world after the pandemic. Green Christian's Radical Presence was a programme of online conversations, to help us to hear God’s word in this time of pandemic. To become a Green Christian member costs from £2 a month through the website www.greenchristian.org.uk.
Eco Church and Cherishing Churchyards event 24th February 2020 at St Martin's Finham; see Documents panel for a poster. At this meeting we considered the Community and Global Engagement section of the Eco Church section. Fred Kratt spoke about last year's Moana Conference in Lincoln which highlighted the plight of Pacific Ocean islanders as a result of climate change and the role of churches and particularly young people in response. Dr Debbie Wright spoke about engagement with the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust's new programme for young people, an opportunity for our churches to be involved. Tricia West spoke about St Mary's Cubbington, a Silver Award Church, and their involvement in the community and Nicola Perryman reported on the Kenilworth Eco Fayre which took place last autumn and then invited churches to join up with doing Cherishing Churchyards events this summer. 46 people attended from a number of churches, including URC and Baptist.
Posted on 4th October, the Feast of St Francis of Assisi, the State of Nature Report 2019 makes grim reading as we see continued loss of biodiversity in the UK. This very comprehensive review is packed with the latest statistics.
Kenilworth Eco Fayre: event on 3rd October 2020 and links to reports available on our Eco Church page.
2019 Events and News
Sad news: Andy Atkins, CEO of A Rocha UK wrote: "It is with great sadness that we have learned of the tragic deaths, in a car accident in South Africa on Monday 28 October 2019, of A Rocha co-founder Miranda Harris, A Rocha International Chief Executive Chris Naylor and his wife Susanna. Peter Harris, co-founder of A Rocha survived the accident, and is being treated for serious injuries." (https://arocha.org.uk/tribute-to-a-rocha-international-staff/) Our work as an Eco Diocese and the efforts of many in our Eco Churches all owe their origins to the inspirational work of Peter Harris. We remember him in our prayers together with his family and the Naylor family, as they face this sad time.
CHERISHING CHURCHYARDS EVENTS 2019:
All Saints Leek Wootton: another excellent Cherishing Churchyards event on Sunday 7th July. This churchyard is well worth a visit to get ideas about managing your own. All Saints have also signed up as a water bottle refilling point. See http://refill.org.uk/ for details of this excellent scheme designed to cut the use of disposable drinking water bottles.
St James Alveston: Saturday July 6th - with Cream Teas and Wildflowers in the churchyard, a model of good churchyard management. The Annual Mow and Barbeque took place on Saturday 27th July from 9am till lunch, despite continuous rain and drizzle; great enthusiasm was shown, as this model of management for biodiversity received its annual haircut!
St Oswald's Tile Hill: Saturday 15th. News of a great afternoon celebrating Cherishing Churchyards 2019 and 30 Days Wild with the Wildlife Trust. St Oswald's are now the proud hosts to a hedgehog hotel, 2 bug houses and we've got bird feeders made from recycled materials. Not a lot of people came, but great fun!
St Mary's Cubbington Cherishing Churchyards event 2nd June 2019. Well done Silver Award St Mary's for pressing on despite the rain! Brave folks sitting by tables demonstrating building bug hotels and making newspaper pots. Brilliant ideas, in a beautiful churchyard.
St Nicholas Kenilworth Eco Church Open Day: Saturday 25th May, 10am - 1pm. See flyer in the Documents panel. This was an excellent occasion, demonstrating a beautiful churchyard being managed for good Biodiversity.
ECO CHURCH AND CHERISHING CHURCHYARDS MEETINGS 2019:
Monday 1st April at St Peter's Wellesbourne: forty people, representing twenty two churches, met for our second such meeting of the year. The vicar of St Peter's, Revd Greg Bartlem, welcomed us to St Peter's and Bishop John Stroyan reflected on creation care, then started the meeting with prayer. Following a presentation by Godfrey Armitage on creation care, Dr Claire Strachan of the DAC considered energy efficiency in Church Buildings, Sarah Shuttleworth of the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust gave a presentation on Churchyards as Local Wildlife Sites and Nicola Perryman spoke about the 2019 plans for Cherishing Churchyards events. Greg closed the meeting with prayer.
Tuesday 5th March at St Andrew's Rugby: thirty seven people, representing twenty churches, gathered to hear how to engage with the Eco Church Programme, to plan for Cherishing Churchyards events in the summer and to hear about Christian Aid's campaign for Climate Justice action from John Cooper from West Midlands Christian Aid. The highlight of the evening was news from the vicar, Imogen Nay, who introduced the evening telling us that St Andrew's is about to submit it's survey data to apply for Eco Church Gold! Other speakers included John Daymond on the St Andrew's Rugby Eco Church programme, Chris Sarson on last year's event at St Peter's Dunchurch, Tricia West on Eco Tips for Eco Church, Dick Withington on Operation Noah, Nicola Perryman on Cherishing Churchyards 2019 and Godfrey Armitage who considered the question 'Why care for Creation?'
Thanks to Nicola Perryman for organising these two meetings for the DEG and to our host churches for their hospitality.
Archbishop Justin on Climate Change: a short YouTube film for Creationtide 2019 at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bovWrpqWcqY
Further from Archbishop Justin in India:
"It is service I would like to talk about today – our responsibility of service to the environment, particularly in a rapidly changing world where remarkable technological advances are imminent. This responsibility is hardwired into the mission of the global Anglican Communion, into our understanding of God’s holistic mission – our Fifth Mark of Mission calls each of us to “strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth.”
"...climate change is an issue of social justice. It disproportionately affects the poorest and most vulnerable around the world, often those who have done the least to contribute to change in the climate and yet have already started to bear the brunt of its devastating effects."
"Climate change is happening. As we approach the 15th anniversary of the Indian Ocean Tsunami, that caused such devastation across the ocean, including on the shores of India, it is becoming ever clearer that climate change is already having repercussions that seem almost biblical in scope. This is why the Anglican Consultative Council has declared that we are facing a climate emergency. Floods, storms, the mass movement of people – some forced by sudden disasters, others recognising, perhaps with prophetic insight, that their way of life is being eroded at a slower but no less devastating rate and making the heart-breaking decision to find a new home elsewhere. It seems that there is too much water and at the same time there is too little water for those who need fresh water for drinking and …Psalm 11 Verse 3 reads ‘If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?’
The Diocese of Coventry achieved a Bronze Eco Diocese Award in summer 2019.
Making Coventry's Clean - Green Future Saturday 26th October from 9.30am - 12.30pm at Methodist Central Hall Coventry. An excellent morning's lectures.
RSA Warwickshire: Creating a Low-Carbon Community Saturday 26th October 2019 at 09:30 Memorial Hall, Henley-in-Arden. At this local FREE event, there were speakers on the “circular” (or wastefree) economy, school gardening and “the climate and money”, followed by discussion groups and plans to create a local low-carbon group to support our community on further action. J
And congratulations also to Stratford Methodist Church for their Gold Award (25th May 2019); only six Gold Award Churches in the country and two of these are in Warwickshire!
The Time is Now: an event in London which took place on Wednesday 26th June 2019. Operation Noah ran an event at St Martin in the Fields from 1030 - 1130 with a Workshop on Divesting from fossil fuels and took part later in the event to lobby parliament to create a healthier environment for nature and people.
Rewilding - A Christian Perspective. A day conference at Ripon College, Cuddesdon on Saturday 27th April 2019. This was an excellent opportunity for learning about Christian attitudes to conservation, for Continuing Ministerial Development and for meeting others involved in care for creation.
Operation Noah: This Lent 2019, could you ask your church to make a divestment commitment and join the Easter Declaration for Fossil Free Churches? See the document 'Divest your churches' in the document section on the right.
RSA Warwickshire: How Low Carbon is your Community? Harbury Energy Initiative and the RSA brought together local communities in the region to share ideas and solutions for local actions to limit climate change on Saturday 27th April 2019 from 09:15 - 13:15 at Harbury Village Hall, Harbury.
Launch of Broadwell Turn Community Supported Agriculture Scheme: Monday 14th October, 7.30pm – 9.30pm at Hill Street Youth and Community Center, Rugby. Want to grow your own veg? Not enough time for an allotment? Not got access to space for growing? But you still want fresh, local, organic veg? Transition Town Rugby is helping to set up this scheme between Stockton and Hill on the A426. It’s a scheme run by the community for the community, celebrating local seasonal food! Transition Town Rugby has grown out of Gold Award-winning St Andrew's Eco Church work. Visit the website at https://transitiontownrugby.org/ and the Facebook page.
Stratford Climate Action Day 22nd June 2019 was run by Stratford Climate Action Forum at Stratford Methodist Church Centre, with a lecture (Dr Lisa Schipper: 'Climate Change - why we can still do something'), workshops and exhibitions.
Recent Green Christian events in Manchester (14 September) and Stroud (28 September). For details visit http://greenchristian.org.uk/whats-on/#all
Our Common Home - responding to the climate emergency and the world's poor. Public lecture by Christine Allen, Director of Cafod on 12th November 2019 at the Collingwood Centre, Rugby School, Oak Street, Rugby firstname.lastname@example.org
The Big Climate Fightback: David Curry, Diocesan Environment Officer for the Exeter Diocese wrote: "The Woodland Trust is coordinating a UK - wide day of mass tree planting on 30th November 2019 called the Big Climate Fightback. The new campaign is a call to action for everyone and anyone to plant trees in the fight against climate change. We want to demonstrate HOPE but with a message of urgency that we must act now to mitigate the worst effects of climate change. Please help to highlight the importance of trees in the fight against climate change by planting a tree in your churchyard*, church school, glebeland or vicarage. If you can't plant a tree, plant a seed in a plant pot. When it's grown sufficiently you can plant it out. A good project for Messy Church? You can record your event on social media using #EveryTreeCounts'.
Its not too late! You could still plant a tree! * However, if you intend to plant a tree in your churchyard, please go to our Tree planting page as you will need to seek permission from the DAC
Have you planted a Diocesan Centenary Tree? Go to our Centenary Tree page for advice from the Woodland Trust on maintaining it.
New Bats in Churches project takes off.
*Rewilding - A Christian Perspective: following this excellent day on Saturday 27th April at Ripon College, Cuddesdon, the next Day Conference took place on Saturday 16th November 2019 with keynote speaker Dave Bookless (https://www.cres.org.uk/gods-family-and-other-animals/).
Eco Fayre at St John's, Kenilworth took place on Saturday 12th October from 10am to 2pm. For details, see: http://lovekenilworth.org.uk/events/event/eco-fayre-at-st-johns-church/ Facebook: www.facebook.com/KWEcoFayre. This was an excellent event.
Easter 2019 Declaration for Fossil-free Churches: see the document and flyer in the Documents section at the right.
"The Church of England’s Environmental Advisory Group has called for all parts of the Church to recognise the Climate Crisis and step up its action to safeguard God’s creation." (1st November 2019) See https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/news/church-englands-environment-group-calls-greater-action-climate-change-across
2018 Events and News
DIOCESE OF COVENTRY CENTENARY 1918 - 2018
Our 2018 centenary celebration included registering as an Eco Diocese! One of the Five Marks of Mission is 'To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth'.
Many dioceses have identified Eco Church as a key tool to encourage churches to engage in creation care; this led A Rocha UK to introduce the idea of Eco Diocese. Amongst other things, this Diocese has an agreed Environmental Policy and, for Bronze Award, to have at least 10% of its churches registered for Eco Church with 5% having achieved Bronze. The Diocese of Coventry registered as an Eco Diocese as part of our centenary celebration. Could your church consider signing up to Eco Church in 2018? If you have signed up, do try to attain award status so that we can gain Bronze Award Eco Diocese status.
The Centenary Tree Project: As part of the Diocesan Centenary in summer 2018, the DEG organised The Centenary Tree Project; we hoped that a tree would be planted to commemmorate the Centenary in every churchyard and in the grounds of each Church of England School, together with a plaque commemmorating the Centenary. In the end (30th January 2019.), 70 of our 240 churches applied for a tree.
In addition, three trees were distributed to nearly every Diocesan church school at the service in Coventry Cathedral that ended the year-long Cross of Nails Pilgrimage.
Via Beata: a pilgrimage route from Lowestoft to St David's. To mark the mid-point of the route, a large carved cross has been put up at Redhill Christian Centre (http://www.viabeata.co.uk/2017/07/10/giant-cross-at-mid-point-of-via-beata/). On Sunday 2nd September 2018, the way station at Leamington Hastings was commissioned with its seats and beautiful carved representations of singers from the parish, something you must see!
Church of England Environment Programme 2018 E-news
Find out the latest news, resources and events in the spring E-news and summer E-news
- Managing churchyard grassland
- How to reduce your church's environmental impact & cut costs
- Plastic-less living
- Green Health Awards
- Free Grow Wild seed kits
- How to switch to green energy
- Speak Up Week
- Eco Church
CHERISHING CHURCHYARDS EVENTS, June 2018:
St Edmund's, Shipston on Stour: a great occasion, with a BBQ in the Churchyard; looking good in the fine weather. St Edmund's has registered for Eco Church.
St Mary's, Oldberrow: tea and cakes were enjoyed in the most biodiverse churchyard in Warwickshire (Steven Falk (2009): Warwickshire's Wildflowers Brewin Books). Hoary Plantain, Common Spotted Orchid and increasing numbers of Yellow Rattle. Also great creation care service.
St Andrew's, Eastern Green: Another great effort by the home team, but we hope to get more visitors next year!
St James', Alveston: this was another great occasion to see this example of excellent practice in churchyard management for biodiversity.
St Peter's, Butler's Marston: a great service celebrating their beautiful churchyard on Sunday 24th June.
All Saint's, Leek Wootton: We had guided tours around the churchyard to identify trees and then flowering plants and excellent refreshments provided by the local Scouts.
St Peter's, Dunchurch: some very imaginative ideas to make the most of this amazing large churchyard. See the poem (Right hand panel) written by children to describe their sensory experiences in the churchyard.
ECO CHURCH and CHERISHING CHURCHYARDS MEETINGS, 2018
Report: Wednesday 18th April 2018 evening meeting, 7.30-9.00pm, at Holy Trinity, Hartshill with Vicky Gilbert of Eco Church Gold Award winning St Catherine's Burbage
See the Flyer for this April meeting. Following an introduction to Eco Church by DEO Godfrey Armitage, we heard from Vicky Gilbert how St Catherine's Burbage (Leicester Diocese) achieved Gold. Vicky described the journey which started years before Eco Church was founded (2016) with a group in the parish who were passionate about caring for God's creation. Working through the Eco Congregation scheme, like our own St Andrew's Eastern Green, a very supportive vicar, a team of enthusiastic and imaginative parishioners, regular Fairtrade involvement, active gardening and ground source heating were some of the things that helped. In addition, more than just ticking the boxes on the survey, they described the various things they had done in the extra boxes provided. They also looked at everything that they could do, rather than being discouraged by things that were not feasible. Other talks were given by Revd Sheila Bridge (PJ's Veg Beds in Rugby), Nicola Perryman (Worship Outdoors and Cherishing Churchyards 2018) and Amanda Ross (Global Engagement with Practical Action). Over 50 people attended from 21 Diocese of Coventry churches as far away as Shipston and Grandborough and three other churches. Thanks to Revd Heather Barnes and her team for their great hospitality.
Report on Tuesday 13th March 2018 evening meeting, 7.30 - 9.00pm, at St Michael's Budbrooke
36 people came from 19 parishes to this excellent evening event to hear about Eco Church and the progress that various churches have been making with this scheme; see the flyer for the Budbrooke meeting. This was followed by a report on last year's Cherishing Churchyards events, discussion groups and a plenary session. If you would like access to the Powerpoint presentations please email Godfrey.Armitage@CovCofe.org.
2017 Events and News
Working towards a net Zero Carbon Economy: this was a Day conference at St Michael's House, Coventry Cathedral on Saturday 8th July 2017 hosted by Coventry Cathedral Reconciliation Ministry and the Coventry Diocesan Environment Group.
The keynote speaker was Revd Dr Darrell Hannah, Rector of All Saints, Ascot and a Trustee of Operation Noah (http://operationnoah.org/), who spoke on ON's Bright Now programme of Divestment from fossil fuels and reinvestment in renewables (https://youtu.be/aU1S9NHVojo). Our other speakers were local: Bob Sherman of Harbury e-Wheels; George Browning, organic farmer, generator of solar pv and electric car driver; Tony McNally of Climate Change Solutions Ltd, Ryton; Dr Lim Ho from Stratford Methodist Church, which generates energy from Solar pv and a Ground source heat pump; John Cooper, West Midlands Regional Coordinator of Christian Aid (https://youtu.be/qTC87c0Vlyw). Thirty six people took part in the day, which was instructive and encouraging.
Many thanks to Rev Haley Jones, who hosted the conference and who returned shortly after to the USA after two years working as an intern for the Coventry Cathedral Reconciliation Ministry.
Cherishing Churchyards Month, June 2017: a number of events took place:
St Andrew's Cherishing Churchyards Day (Sunday 4th June) included a treasure hunt in the churchyard and crafts, such as bird box building, followed by a picnic in the park. This was a great day!
St James' Church, Alveston, Churchyard Day (Saturday 10th June) included looking at results of moth trapping and small mammal trapping, a wildflower survey, minibeast hunt, children's crafts and Teddy Bears' Picnic. The cakes were brilliant!
St Leonard's Church, Birdingbury held a Care of Creation Service, Debbie Wright, the WWT Hedgehog Officer for Rugby spoke and demonstrated hedgehog footprint tunnels.
St Edmund's Church, Shipston on Stour (Saturday 17th June) BBQ/picnic with bring and share tea in newly re-opened churchyard.
All Saints Church Leek Wootton (Sunday 18th June) Activities included churchyard trail, minibeast hunting, hedgehog home building and Teddy Bears' Picnic.
St Martin in the Fields Finham, Coventry (Saturday 24th June) Community Environment Day which included children's activities, reducing one's ecological footprint activities, stalls and food.
St Mary's Church, Oldberrow (Saturday 24th June and Sunday 25th June) A number of visitors from near and further afield explored the biodiversity in this amazing species rich churchyard; tea and cake was greatly enjoyed!
St Paul's Church, Warwick (Sunday 2nd July) A Community Fun Day including treasure hunt, mini beast safari and fancy dress competition in the beautiful churchyard. Free ice cream was an added bonus!
We hope that more churches will get involved in 2018. Find out more at our meetings at Budbrooke and Hartshill in March and April respectively (see Dates for your Diary above)
Green Church Awards 2017: See https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/green-church
2016 Events and News
Eco Church was launched at St Peter's Wellesbourne on the evening of 23rd February 2016.