As Christians, we’re called to put our faith into action by loving our neighbours and caring for the earth, our common home. Pollution from fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas hugely contribute to climate change, which is affecting the poorest communities in the world. More frequent floods, droughts and extreme weather means that these poorest people are increasingly at risk.
Whilst we cannot change the environmental issues overnight, we at Bradwell Church have begun to see what small practical steps we can take to make our Church green or at least “greener”. Ranging from improved recycling and power conservation to care over purchasing. The limitations with a Church this old means we can only do a little to improve the church itself, but there are other ways to help.
The churchyard contains wild fruit such as plums which we pick and make into Jam and is sold at the church, with the proceeds going to the maintenance of the church. There is a bug box on the church and we have plans to introduce more bug boxes, bat roosting boxes and perhaps a hedgehog hotel. We are planting wild flowers and looking at how we can make our electricity green (Big Church Switch).
We are also looking at how we can achieve accreditation by the environmental Christian group A Rocha.
Pipistrelle bats fly in the Churchyard (picture left taken in parish ©Paul Lund) and Brown long ear bats roost in the Church belfry. We have regular visits from frogs, hedgehogs, field mice and foxes. All in the heart of a thriving modern city.
The bats, birds and insects appreciate the trees that grow around the churchyard, immediately noticeable are the tall cedar trees behind the church, although not particularly valuable to wildlife they do serve to protect the church and churchyard as well as reduce noise from the trains. They were introduced into Britain in the Eighteenth Century when the great parks were being established.
Immediately to the right of the church screening the houses from the church are the Holm Oaks also known as Holly Oaks, which were introduced to Britain in the early Tudor period. Its catkins provide a source of pollen for bees and other insects, while its dense, evergreen canopy offers year-round shelter for birds. (picture of Robin taken in churchyard ©Paul Lund). All part of our Green Church.