Eco Church Team Report 2022
ECO logo    Artwork by Daisy Burke

In January 2022, Wymondham Baptist Church signed up to be part of the Eco Church Project. It is A Rocha UK’s award scheme for churches in England and Wales who want to demonstrate that the gospel is good news for God’s earth.

The vision of Eco Church is as follows: ‘for churches of all denominations to care for creation as an integral part of loving their neighbours and following God faithfully’ (taken from Eco Church website).
A small group first met in January 2022 to form an Eco Church Team at WBC and to start with, we completed the online survey which is designed to help us express our care for God’s world in 4 key areas:  

  • in our worship and teaching,

  • in looking after our buildings and land,

  •  in engaging with our local community and in global campaigns

  • in the personal lifestyles of our congregation.

So…what have we at WBC done in these 4 areas over the last year?
Worship and Teaching:
Our summer programme had an environmental theme (Why should we care?) with each homegroup basing and leading the service around one element of Creation (Creation/responsibility, light/energy, water/seas, vegetation/use of land, creatures/care)
Our young people spent 2 practical sessions, one in February led by Ruth Rallan and Chris Flaxman and one in November and led by Ruth Rallan looking at the diversity of birds and insects and to make birdboxes and bug hotels for our church garden.  Our thanks Ruth and Chris and to The Shed in Ayton Road for preparing the bird boxes for the young people to put together.

Pciture 1

Our Buildings and Land:
The church swapped its energy providers in 2022 which was not only beneficial financially but also allowed us to sign up with companies with more favourable environmental credentials. (SSE and Crown Gas)
As part of some repairs to the Manse, a proportion of the Eco Church funds paid for loft insulation to be installed.
In the garden, as mentioned, we now have bird boxes and bug hotels. Shirley Marwood has been working regularly on the Church flower beds with an emphasis on perennial plants that will encourage pollinators. We also have a team of volunteers who regularly mow the grass and tidy the hedges.
Engaging with our local community and with global campaigns
In June 2022, WBC hosted a community event called ECO@WBC. Local groups were invited to have a stall to showcase all the excellent care that is already happening in our community. It was a great time to find out about these groups and to chat about how we can work together to look after our world. Greening Wymondham, Hedgehog Haven, Toadwatch, Wymondham in Bloom, Wymondham Nature Group and the WI all supported the event. We had a Food Savvy stand from Norfolk County Council and there was an opportunity to make a bug hotel.  In addition, there were plant, cake, card, and craft stalls together with refreshments. Nearly £800 was raised and the
proceeds are to fund ECO Church projects at WBC.

Pciture 2

We have asked Nicola Maunders from Greening Wymondham to contribute to our Rooted Life magazine and she now writes a regular feature with easy and encouraging tips on how we can live a little more carefully.
In September, we played our part in the Great Big Green Week. In that week during Roots, Greening Wymondham operated a stand in the church and WBC ran a PowerPoint presentation demonstrating how our church is responding to taking care of our environment. Thank you to Ray and Cathy Finch and to Doug Hodges for preparing this.
Personal lifestyles of our congregation
In February 2022 we started a recycling scheme at WBC for items that cannot be recycled by the roadside collections. The stationery items are taken to Rymans in Norwich. Medicine blister packs were taken to Superdrug in Norwich and other items were taken to Val Keel in Wreningham to be recycled via Terracycle. Unfortunately, we had to stop the collection of blister packs at the end of 2022 but will be expanding the recycling in 2023 to other items. We have a recycling notice board in the corridor with all the information about our scheme.
There are regular updates, tips, and suggestions in the Rooted Life magazine.
In October the Eco Church and Leadership teams completed a Carbon Footprint calculator (the WWF Carbon calculator) and we then encouraged the fellowship to do the same. We want to encourage small and positive changes with an emphasis on personal responsibility and are hoping that this Carbon Calculator will be another way of making us think about how we can make these changes.
 And finally….
Finances: We hope to be a self-funding group and with the funds raised this year, we have given a £125 donation to A Rocha charity, contributed £350 for the loft insulation at the Manse and paid for the birdboxes in the church garden.
In November, we were delighted to receive the Bronze Eco Church Award and are hoping that this will inspire us to look for more and more ways to put our love for God’s creation at the heart of everything we do at Wymondham Baptist Church.
As a fellowship, we are very supportive of each other and we would like to thank everyone who has supported the Eco Church activities and events over this year, both with their time, skills, and finances.
The team meets about every 6 weeks, and we would be delighted to see new faces or to hear from anyone who has ideas for future projects.
Nicki Waterworth on behalf of the Eco Church Team

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