Church Energy Efficiency Conference

The Trust For Oxfordshires Environment (TOE2) and the Dicoese of Oxford invite you to a day conference exploring how we can make our churches warmer, more welcoming and cost less to run.

Building on the Church Energy Audits Project with TOE2 and Sustain, the day will look at how churches can do their own energy audits and make their own action plans, as well as expert content on:

  • electricity use – covering billing, procurement, efficient lighting.
  • heating systems – how to make your system more efficient, and how to answer the ‘heating on all the time, or only when occupied’ dilemma?
  • renewable technologies for churches – what renewable technologies are suitable for churches?
  • what will the DAC allow?
  • funding – how can you raise the money for your project?

There will be specific issue clinics over lunch so that you can get answers to your particular questions.

We will be joined by staff from Sustain, the DAC Secretary and other experts.

The venue will be St Thomas of Canterbury Church in Goring, which was lovingly repaired, extended and refurbished in 2009. It is light and airy, with a breathable limestone floor with underfloor central heating – and given the use of sustainable materials, such as, blown recycled glass, sheep’s wool insulation, PEFC sourced European Oak and lime render for the facade, it will make an ideal venue for our gathering.

Date: Saturday 4th October 2014
Time: 10.15am – 4pm
Location: St Thomas of Canterbury Church, Goring

– Tickets are free but spaces are limited and registration is essential –

Full details at:


Earthing Faith Gathering – 9th Oct 2014

Developing an eco-friendly parish: a resource evening for churches in Buckinghamshire

In 2014 Earthing Faith gatherings will bring people together to showcase resources to help churches explore environment related issues in a parish, with a particular focus on resources for worship.

The Buckinghamshire gathering will include an introduction by the Bishop of Buckingham, followed by showcasing of resources churches have found useful and examples of how they are approaching environment issues. There will then be a break to network and connect around the resources shared, and a closing act of worship that engages us in environmental issues.

Projects that will be shared include:

  • St James Love creation, St James Church, Gerrards Cross
  • Bread of Life project, St Michael & All Angels Waddesdon church
  • St John’s Carterton – Forest Church activities
  • A Rocha Chilterns Project

Time: 7.30-9.30pm, Thursday 9th October 2014

Venue: St Marys C Of E Church, Church Street, Aylesbury, HP20 2JJ

Poster: promote the event with a Poster

Please join us and register using the form below:


Food and Theology with Mike Rayner – 13th Sept

On Saturday 13th September 2014 CRES (Christian Rural and Environmental Studies) are running a day conference at Ripon College Cuddesdon near Oxford with Rev Dr Mike Rayner on Food and Theology.

The programme will run from 9.30am until 2pm and include:

  • Theological reflections upon the production, distribution and consumption of food
  • Practical applications of our theology of food, both local and global

Book by 7th August – fee for attendance for the morning is £20 including coffee and full lunch

For full details and to book visit:

Traditional Skills at Dorchester Abbey – 23-25 August


Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th August from 12 – 6pm

Monday 25th August from 10am to 4pm

Traditional Skills will be showcased at Dorchester Abbey, with contemporary craftspeople who are continuing the crafts and skills that would have built Dorchester on Thames’ medieval abbey and sustained the resident monastic community.

Within the Abbey and its Cloister Garden, there will be demonstrations of skills, and opportunity to try some of them for yourself – discovering how much of the medieval tradition continues today.

This year the emphasis is on the crafts and skills that the monastic community would have needed, including demonstrations from:

  • a herbalist,
  • a pole lathe turner,
  • a coracle maker,
  • weavers,
  • spinners and dyers,
  • a calligrapher and illuminator,
  • a basket maker
  • and beekeepers.

The construction and maintenance of the Abbey church will be represented by: stonemasons, a woodcarver, a stained glass artist, a blacksmith and an embroiderer.

Entry to this event is free.
Donations to the maintenance of the Abbey will be much appreciated.


For further details visit

Dry Stone Walling Course – 19th-20th July

StonewallingDry Stone Walling Course

Sat 19th and Sun 20th July – 9am – 4pm
Training weekend for those involved in managing burial grounds

Venue: Churchill and Sarsden Heritage Centre, 1 Hastings Hill, Churchill, Oxfordshire

Walling Instructor: Cotswolds Conservation Board

Organised by: Caring for God’s Acre

During this practical weekend you will learn how to dismantle walls, sort stone, lay foundations, build up the wall, add through stones and copping stones, dress the stone, what tools to use and much more!

No prior experience required.

Places are limited to ensure proper tuition can be given during the weekend.

FREE to participants, only available to those involved in managing burial grounds.

Booking essential – contact Andrea on 01588 673041 or email

Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Limited numbers

Cherishing Churchyards Week – June 2014

cherishlogo-week-green-206x300 June is a special time to celebrate churchyards and burial grounds and to raise awareness of the treasures they contain. Cherishing Churchyards Week is run by Caring for God’s Acre and brings together lots of events you can join – below are some we know about in the Diocese of Oxford and you can find a full list here.

Anticipating Summer… A community picnic in the St Mary and St John Churchyard

Thursday 5 June – 6pm onwards

A friendly social evening with the chance to explore the churchyard’s wildlife and its links with local history.

Bring and share food.  Soft drinks provided.

Family friendly and children welcome! Weather contingency plan.

Earthing Faith Gathering – 1st May 2014


Developing an eco-friendly parish: a resource evening for churches in Reading and Berkshire

In 2014 Earthing Faith gatherings will bring people together to showcase resources to help churches explore environment related issues in a parish, with a particular focus on resources for worship.

The Reading gathering took place on Thursday 1st May at St Nicolas Church, Earley and included the following:

  • The Bishop of Reading, introduced the evening by reminding us we cannot carry on as usual, that we need generous imaginations to recover who we are and are called to be, which is priests of creation, and that that brings a huge responsibility. Bishop Andrew talked about the need for a popularised green theology, and encouraged us that we can all do something, not matter how small.
  •  Rev Graeme Fancourt of St Luke with Bartholomew church in Reading introduced their new food-based project that is just getting off the ground. The aim is bring a wholistic approach to evangelism, social action and the environment by creating spaces for heart, mind and soul to mix and sit together, adn has grown out of their involvement in donating to local food banks. They hope to start a pop-up restaurant in their church hall, using food that has been grown in what will be an allotment garden at the back of the church. Everyone will eat together and the money raised will be used to help people to fill their pantry at home.
  • Emma Major, Licensed Lay Minister (LLM) at St Nicolas Church, Earley, introduced Oakwood Forest Church, which met for the first time in November 2013. Sprouting from a visit to the New Forest Forest Church and conversations with friends from other churches in Earley. We are the sort of people who go for walks in the woods when we are trying to find some quiet time with God and so the idea of combining Church with nature was very appealing, especially in our very urban location. The great thing about starting a Forest Church is that there are no costs and no buildings to worry about. One quick conversation with the ranger of our nature reserve and another with our church insurers was all we needed to meet for the first time with everyones blessing.

What is Oakwood Forest Church? 
Oakwood Forest Church is:

  • A fresh expression of church
  • Non-denominational
  • Open to everyone
  • Christ Centered
  • Part of a national network of Forest Churches.
  • Wendy Neale from St Nicolas Church, Earley, talked about the work of the Justice, Peace and the Environment Group (JPEG) which meets regularly to look at social justice and environmental issues on behalf of the whole church. Activities have included:
    • growing food with children;
    • campaigning around the IF campaign;
    • switching the church to green energy;
    • having received a bequest for building work at the church, they will be embarking on improvements to the building that will be as green and energy efficient as possible;
    • the church has strong links with Jubilee Centre in Zambia, and this relationship has been very important to how the congregation links globally, with members of the congregation visiting the centre and it’s work once a year.
  • Mairi Johnstone, CEO of A Rocha UK, shared about the aims and objectives of A Rocha and the many resources that they have available – including the new At Your Service section of their website which includes many worship resources from Dave Bookless and others. Mairi also explained that the Eco-Congregation Award scheme is being re-launched later in 2014, and mentioned that A Rocha will also be launching a new project around land and re-connecting people to land near you.
  • Maranda St John Nicolle, from CCOW and the Diocesan World Development Advisor, shared about how can we campaign on climate issues, and introduced us to a number of different opportunities, including:
  • encouraging parties to deal responsibly with climate issues in their election manifesto policies (Hope for the Future: )
  • sharing the reasons why we want to do something about climate change on the “For the Love of …” website:
  • encouraging pension providers “to embed climate-awareness into their investment decisions, into dialogue with companies and into policy advocacy”  (Share Action:
  • encouraging investors – personal or corporate (including churches, dioceses and the Church of England) – to divest from fossil fuels (Operation Noah’s Bright Now:, Bracknell deanery campaign:
  • joining in fasting and prayer with people from around the world on the 1st of each month (materials available from Christian Aid: and from Tearfund:
  • sharing in new advocacy campaigns with specific asks that will be coming out from CAFOD, Christian Aid and Tearfund in the coming year
  • engaging in lifestyle campaigns through organisations like the Breathe network, Shrinking the Footprint … and Earthing Faith!
  • Matt Freer, Diocesan Environment Officer, shared briefly about a number of diocesan resources to help churches ‘green’ their buildings and use their churchyards.
  • The evening closed with worship led by Susie Stead and Rev Tim Steaddownload as pdf.

Missed this gathering? There will also be a similar gathering on Thursday 9th October 2014 with the Bishop of Buckingham in Aylesbury.