In 2017, we plan to:
- Preach on God's creation
Rev John Cook's series on the Psalms from 22 January to 28 February 2017 includes several on creation care, for example Psalm 8 on 22 January. The sermons link to our Life Explored course and Lent Series
Our recent sermons and talks are available at Recorded Sermons. and you can also find there the Harvest Festival sermon on creation care by Rev John Cook on 27 September 2015.
- Run a Lent series on creation care in March, with guest speakers. More details here.
- Make our churchyard and cemetery more wildlife friendly
- Continue to organise local rambles
- Engage our children, for example a mini beast hunt
- Review our energy suppliers
- Consider applying for the Eco Church bronze award
We began this journey in June 2010, when Sir John Houghton (pictured) gave a talk at St Mary's Wargrave entitled 'Climate Change & Global Warming - the Science & the Christian Response'. You may download the slides here (pdf) and listen to the talk here. It triggered several initiatives in our parish:
(1) An audit of our energy and building materials. We are grateful to Solar Co-Op for conducting it free of charge at St Mary's, St Peter's and the vicarage on 19 February 2011. You may download their report here. A further audit of St Mary's by Carillion is copyright and available from Mike on request. The plans for the proposed extension of St Mary's took the reports into account.
(2) Infra-red photographs of church buildings and homes revealed how we could improve insulation and reduce energy bills. We are grateful to Wargrave resident Ian Bradley for taking the pictures on dark, snowy evenings free of charge for the church, and at a minimal charge for private homes, throughout November 2010.
(3) Solar panels on several homes, aided by the infra-red photographs and government grants. Bye-laws which prevent listed buildings in rural parishes from having panels which are visible from the ground, and the position of trees, prevented St Mary's from implementing solar panels. Further information on this topic is available in the English Heritage Guidance on Solar Panels on Churches (pdf) May 2011, and the Church of England Guidance on Solar Panels (pdf) 2010.
(4) Better recycling in our churches, for example the replacement of non-recyclable polystyrene cups.
(5) A new audio-visual system in St Mary's, making paper less necessary at services and meetings.
(6) In the wider community, the launch of the Wargrave Transition Group. A number of important projects have taken place under its leadership. They include a communal orchard on King's Acre, an annual Apple Day, shared allotments and, with the assistance of Wokingham Borough Council, nature reserves at the Chalk Pit and Mumbery Hill. One man who had grown up in Wargrave and played in the Chalk Pit as a boy was thrilled to see a deer and orchids there when he returned in 2015. Volunteers are asked to email or phone her on 0118 940 3381.
Recommended reading: A Christian Guide to Environment Issues, by Martin & Margot Hodson, two of our speakers for Lent this year; and Planetwise, by Dave Bookless, free copies of which were given out by our Vicar Rev John Cook at our Harvest Festival in September 2015.
If you would like to help us in caring for our environment or help with Fairtrade, a closely related aspect of integral mission, please contact .
A Rocha Christian nature conservation organisation, stewards of the Eco Church award
Caring for God's Acre Advice on churchyards and burial grounds
Christian Ecology Link Portal for UK environmental issues
Greater Reading Environmental Network Local chat forum
Green Christian Network of "ordinary Christians in extraordinary times"
Operation Noah Informing churches on climate change issues in the UK
In and Around the Home
Ecotopia Environmentally friendly shopping
True Food Co-Op Ethically sourced groceries in our area
Recycle Now What you can recycle where