Eco Diocese July 2020

As we begin to welcome members of our congregations old and new into our churches, it's a crucial time for embedding our 5th Mark of Mission Eco Church actions to reduce our carbon footprint.

We have lots of support and opportunities to make the necessary changes to our energy use, transport, waste and water usage on our path to become a Gold and Carbon Net Zero Diocese by 2030.

Over the past couple of months Liz, Deputy Director, Faiths4Change has been having virtual and phone conversations with people from churches across the Diocese from St Luke’s, Crosby to St Helen’s Parish Church via All Hallows in Allerton and beyond. 

We’re really excited that zoom meetings with clusters of churches are planned for late July in North Sefton and St Helen’s Deaneries.  We’ll be considering our journeys to become Eco Churches in the fullest sense, looking at our challenges and how we can support each other to overcome and grow beyond those.

We’re working on an Eco church cluster in and around Huyton, Knowsley as churches in Knowsley can benefit from additional tools through the Faiths4Change ‘Make Do Mend’ project with Knowsley Council. Any Knowsley church can benefit from this project, it’s fully funded.  Have a look and get in touch with Liz liz@faiths4change.org.uk


Meanwhile there’s a buzz in the air around St Luke’s Crosby at present as Groundforce Beekeeper John Turner explains.

“Hidden in the corner of the vicarage garden, amongst the apple and plum trees, are three honey bee hives. The bees can be easily heard on a warm June day, and if you’re sensitive enough to the moment, you can smell the distinctive scent of the honey and propolis which emanates from the colonies. Hard to see, but ‘visible’ when you know how to take up the clues of buzzing and delicious smell. They are a happy lot, within the large site of St.Luke’s grounds with access to hundreds of Crosby’s suburban oasis gardens and the open fields of nearby countryside. They are spoiled with so much forage. They thrive. They provide honey. They pollinate trees, plants and shrubs, gathering nectar and pollen and in return for an abundance of seed and a promise of new plants the following year. Sweet rewards for the welding of the links between generations of plants and food.

‘Without pollination, the whole of nature could not groan as in the act of creation’.

Groundforce are part of our church community of St.Luke’s, Crosby. We tend God’s acre[s] and the team have worked this last decade to create a quiet and beautiful space in the heart of Crosby Village. Locals pop into the grounds for a quick stomp with the children and other animals, and shop workers grab a sandwich under the shade of the wisteria and rose arbour. It is a hidden jewel for the area, but although it is not very visible it is well-known and well-used. Groundforce have a regular crew of around 20 folk, some regulars in the church pews, some never entering church, but a true community with similar aims and attitudes. Nurture, care, growing, tending, sowing, gathering fruit, making jams from our own produce and from nearby gardens.

The Groundforce bees yield their golden prize and we sell our honey to our local community. It is appreciated and we can’t quite keep up with the demand. The proceeds of the honey and preserve sales are sent to our mission partner Aroha. Our partner is involved in nature conservation throughout the world. Our bees, fields and gardens are part of a global link. Our Groundforce team helps enable A Rocha’s work and we are reminded of our global pursuit of protecting our earth. The Anglican Church’s universal Fifth Mark of Mission ‘To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth.’ Eco Church is the cornerstone of our church’s effort to live up to the challenge to sustain and renew creation. At St.Luke’s, Eco Church is headed up by Groundforce.

Our local sister parish community All Saints with St Frideswyde, Crosby, have also recently taken up the batten of Eco Church; looking at sustainable energy and heating the newly refurbished buildings, and planting a new orchard with a wildflower meadow. It was a great pleasure to handover a colony of bees as a gift to their community and we hope that their colony provides as much pleasure for them as our bees have for St.Luke’s.

Find out more about St Luke’s Crosby and how they use the church grounds here

Faiths4Change can work with churches across the Diocese to help - with tailored action plans, identifying and overcoming challenges, communications, videos, design, advice, creative ideas and much more. We know there's a lot on currently and we want to help - this is a chance for churches to use our support, support one another locally, and get access to our further support in a way that's right for them. Email liz@faiths4change.org.uk