Your Church and Solar PV

Information to help churches exploring installing solar PV.

The Diocese of Oxford has produced an information sheet that introduces how solar energy could be used to generate electricity in your church, as well as help you assess the suitability of your church and provides a list of things to consider as you develop a project to install solar panels.

There is also advice about how your church may be able to benefit from the government Feed-In-Tariff. Read more and download the guide…

Energyshare – generating a renewable energy community

Energyshare is a new initiative to help people get together to save energy and generate their own energy. It has been launched with a £500,000 fund to help projects get started – and there is a further £3 million committed for future rounds of funding. Energyshare is looking to fund projects that aim to save or generate energy locally, and will benefit the local community.

Got an idea? Why not apply for funding for a new community based project that will save energy and/or generate energy? Visit energyshare.com for further information.

The big tree plant

The Big Tree Plant is a campaign to encourage people and communities to plant more trees in England’s towns, cities and neighbourhoods. It is a partnership bringing together national tree-planting organisations and local groups working with Defra and the Forestry Commission to plant trees throughout England.

Anybody can get involved by planting and caring for trees to help make neighbourhoods more attractive, healthy places to live.  So far 74,105 trees have been planted.

For more information including about grants available: http://thebigtreeplant.direct.gov.uk/
Thanks to Glyn Evans for the tip.

Earth Hour 2011 – Sat 26th March from 8.30pm

Earth Hour 2011

From London to Sydney, New York and Singapore, people across the world will be marking Earth Hour this Saturday (26 March 2011) and switching off their lights. A simple idea that has rapidly gained global support. For just one hour everyone is asked to switched off their lights and make a symbolic stand against climate change. It’s a reminder to us all that we only have one planet Earth. And it’s an urgent message that we want to reduce the impact our energy system has on that planet.

Find out more at: earthhour.wwf.org.uk

For Creed and Creation Book

For Creed and Creation: A simple guide to greening your church is a great new little book of practical suggestions for making your church more energy efficient.

With simple ideas and advice from the way the building is run, to how rubbish is recycled and the light switches used, the guide will help to reduce bills and put your church on the right track to tackling your carbon footprint. Published by the Diocese of Oxford and co-written by local curate, Revd. Dr. Gillian Straine, the book includes details of local organisations and where to go for help.
“…churches aren’t just places of wonder, encounter and community; they’re also real buildings which make an impact on the natural world, and it’s our responsibility to make sure that their carbon footprint is as small as possible. We have over 800 church buildings in our diocese, and with all the people who pass through them in a year, we can influence literally hundreds of thousands more buildings.”
Bishop of Oxford
Copies of the booklet are available for:
  • £2.50 each – £3.28 including postage and packaging
  • £10 for five copies – £11.33 including postage and packaging
  • £15 for ten copies – £18.41 including postage and packaging

Order by Post: Send a cheque for the total amount (including postage and packaging), made payable to ‘Oxford Diocesan Board of Finance, to: For Creed and Creation Book, Environment Desk, Dept of Mission, Diocese of Oxford, North Hinksey, Oxford, OX2 0NB.

View online: You can view the contents of the book in the viewer below.

Grow Zones – get your community growing

How can you combine growing your own delicious food, making new friends, learning a natural growing method, and the opportunity to reconnect at a deep, spiritual level with creation? The answer is Grow Zones, a community growing project that you can start in your neighbourhood and church.

Designed specifically with churches in mind, Grow Zones provides an opportunity to engage new people from your neighbourhood in a simple, practical project that bears on our common concern for the earth.

The idea is very simple. Someone from a local church or neighbourhood hears about Grow Zones and, with the aid of the Grow Zones kit, forms a local team. People are introduced to a natural growing method known as Permaculture and helped to redesign their gardens so they can grow more of their own fruit and veg. Each team is offered insurance as part of the package, and sets out on a series of visits, where they work on one another’s gardens to make their dreams real. The commitment is deliberately light just four mornings make up the whole course, but experience shows that deep bonds form between people, lasting friendships are made and many go on to experience and learn more.

One participant said having experienced Grow Zones:

“I have longed to do something really positive about caring for creation. As part of the Grow Zones pilot in Bristol, and being introduced to Permaculture, I have been set on a fascinating journey that has transformed my view of the world we live in and resulted in my becoming involved in a whole set of community growing projects here in Bristol. It seems to me that reconnecting with the land, and with growing our own food, is an extraordinarily powerful means to help us reconsider how we are living and  to build fresh expressions of community life. There was a sort of implicit and deep spirituality that pervaded our experience of Grow Zones here in Bristol, as if God was there among us as we worked together. As a Christian minister, I have also been concerned to express concern for creation in a way that is more than theory, or just ‘doing without’ something. It seems to me that the great biblical hope for peace and harmony in creation finds real expression in the hearts of those who join together in a project like Grow Zones.”

Start a Grow Zones Team

The GrowZones Kit

Would you be interested in starting a group in your area? You don’t necessarily need to have any gardening experience, all you need is to be good at organising and encouraging people. If you can gather a group of people together, the Grow Zones Kit will provide the help and resources to get you growing for your first season.

For more information, and to start a team, visit www.growzones.com.

Grow Zones is a national project – supported by the Local Food fund – and a series of Christ and the Earth retreat days supports the programme. To book a retreat day and find out more about the community behind Grow Zones visit www.earthabbey.com.

 

Lighter Later – Write to your MP

Every year the clocks get set in a way that means we get less light in our lives, sleeping through the sunlit mornings while we use expensive, polluting electric light in the evenings. The Lighter Later campaign is calling to move the clocks forward by one hour so that we are awake when the sun is out.

This December a Private Member’s Bill supporting the Lighter Later campaign is going to Parliament. Those supporting the campaign includes RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents), the AA and Sustrans.

People are asked to support the Private Member’s Bill by asking for their MP’s support. Find out more here.