• Loo paper rolls out eco agenda
    August 26, 2016

    loo roll kidsSelling loo rolls has helped boost the flow of environmental action at one Hampshire church.

    It’s among a stream of activities as part of the Anglican parish of Nursling and Rownhams – sometimes known as ‘Twinspires’ – becomes engaged with Eco Church.


    Youth and their leaders at St John’s, Rownhams, have been selling toilet paper after church at a fiver per roll. Cash raised enables them to twin the church’s WCs with toilets in Africa and Asia.

    ‘We reached gold award level straightaway in one section, but didn’t even have a bronze in the community and global engagement part,’ said parish administrator Claire Thompson. ‘We’ve now done enough to apply for bronze – and we’re working towards silver.’

    Their eco-journey started about ten years ago when a group from St John’s spent a weekend at Christian retreat centre Lee Abbey. Guest speaker ... Read more...

  • School’s out – for hidden treasure!
    August 26, 2016

    education picEducation specialists at A Rocha UK are celebrating one of their busiest summer terms – with record numbers of participants and rave reviews from local schools.

    They’ve influenced more than 1,500 children – plus their parents and teachers – in 60 lessons and activities from ‘bear hunts’ to play schemes, with the odd humorous impression thrown in! Feedback has ranged from ‘amazing opportunity’ to ‘great location with great people’.


    Environmental Education Officer David Melville and Education Intern Karolin Kestner have seen an increasing openness to environmental issues. ‘We meet many school helpers who emphasise the importance of “doing what we do”,’ said David.

    The grown-ups can’t resist taking part. ‘Sometimes when we ask the children a question, the adults answer as they’re keen to learn, too,’ David explained. ‘This is all-age education. Teachers and parents are impacted just as much.’

    Positive responses came ...

  • Faith fills the fair
    August 26, 2016

    andy at birdfair 2016 3Passion for nature must lead to protecting nature. That’s the message A Rocha UK chief Andy Atkins gave delegates at Birdfair – the wildlife lovers’ ‘Glastonbury’.

    Speaking at the Sunday worship service run by A Rocha UK and A Rocha International, Andy (pictured) said, ‘We’re to love what God has created as he loves it. And that love starts with enjoying creation – something birders know about – but continues through nurturing and protecting’.

    Andy welcomed the fact that church leaders – from the Archbishop of Canterbury to Pope Francis – have recently emphasised how nature is important to God. Andy invited people to join A Rocha UK in seeking to restore and protect the nation’s once thriving nature.


  • Comment: Let’s nurture nature
    August 26, 2016

    sept enews book characters go wildSummer’s over. It’s that time of year when most people – especially families with school-aged children – have their most intense contact with the great outdoors.


    Contact with nature is good for us. Studies say connecting with the outdoors improves physical health, through walking, as well as mental wellbeing, with reductions in stress and improved powers of concentration. Many of us will experience greater spiritual wellbeing. We feel closer to God amid creation, gazing for miles from a mountain top or happily ‘lost’ in the depths of a wood.

    That’s all good news. But we need to spread it fast. Britain’s population is 80 per cent urban – and rising. Whole generations have no regular contact with ‘wild’ landscape or abundant nature. That’s bad not only for people, but also for nature. People don’t defend what they ... Read more...

  • Comment: Maintain Paris Momentum
    July 25, 2016

    maintain parisOur world has celebrated the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. After years of fraught and often fruitless negotiations, all countries agreed to limit global warming by cutting greenhouse gases.


    With the impacts of climate change mounting – from the human cost of floods, droughts and fires around the world to the disruption of UK wildlife by ever-earlier spring times – it’s time to build fast on ‘Paris’. Britain has an important role.

    The already eight-month-old Paris Agreement won’t come into effect until ratified by 55 countries – together accounting for at least 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Only 19 of 178 signatories have done so.

    Apart from Norway, these are almost all small island states that have contributed virtually nothing to the ‘stock’ of gases. But they face an existential threat from rising sea levels caused by the warming oceans and ... Read more...

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