• Raiders of the lost art
    July 25, 2016

    raiders of the lost art pic - 1Raiders who robbed Wolf Fields of essential equipment have not only failed to halt its development into an urban nature reserve, but have also succeeded in promoting community art on the three-acre West London site.

    Security has been stepped up there in the form of a massive shipping container – to the cost of £1,600. This kind of storage is normally used to transport heavy machinery and household goods on the high seas.


    Now such a super-strong structure has been installed at Wolf Fields. But locals have welcomed it with open arms – and with paintbrushes. Volunteers are ready to trigger their own art attack, adding their own creative expression to the site (pictured).

    More than 20 people from the local community are involved in designing and painting the huge box. ‘While the shipping container was ... Read more...

  • Brothers grab the gold
    July 25, 2016

    brothers grab the gold picMonastics may or not be closer to heaven than the rest of us. But one community has shown at least it’s closer to the earth.

    When Dorset-based Hilfield Friary (pictured) entered for a Silver Award in A Rocha UK’s Eco Church scheme, their application was so impressive, they were immediately upgraded to Gold level.


    ‘They’d achieved so much,’ said Eco Church Manager Nigel Hopper, ‘they ran out of categories in our online survey.’

    An A Rocha UK Partner In Action, the Anglican Franciscan community had done standard activities such as special Sundays on creation care, hosting A Rocha UK speakers, and fitting energy-efficient lamps.

    They’d gone a step further with electricity from renewable sources, insulating and double-glazing buildings, rainwater-harvesting systems and measuring their carbon footprint.

    But the friary tipped the eco-scale with solar panels, running their own water supply ... Read more...

  • Deep calls to deep on oceans day
    July 25, 2016

    deep calls to deep picA Rocha UK marine researcher Hannah Hereward helped lead a special event on World Oceans Day.

    Hannah led Lee Abbey staff and guests on a rock pool ramble, litter pick and a marine-related reflection (pictured). The Christian conference centre is part of A Rocha UK’s Partners In Action network.


    The group gave praise for the ocean’s beauty and bounty, repented for the rubbish, asked for increased consciousness around litter and were challenged to take time each day to stop, look and wonder at God’s world.

    ‘World Oceans Day is a worldwide day set aside for ocean awareness activities,’ said Hannah. ‘This can range from beach murals to litter picks.

    ‘This year it happened to land on a Wednesday – which is the traditional day for the Lee Abbey host team to take guests down to the beach for a fire ... Read more...

  • London churches go for green
    July 25, 2016

    London’s Anglican churches are engaged in a concerted effort to snatch the green gong – the Eco Church award.

    Ever since the launch of A Rocha UK’s Eco Church initiative earlier this year – when St Paul’s Cathedral scooped the first Bronze Award – the Diocese of London has been encouraging its congregations to embrace the scheme.

    As a result, a further 16 churches in the diocese have registered with Eco Church – with seven in Ealing Deanery alone, where A Rocha UK’s office and Wolf Fields community reserve are located. Two more Bronze Awards have been confirmed for St Mary’s, Hampton, and St James’s, Piccadilly. St Mary’s received its award from A Rocha UK chief Andy Atkins during a recent Sunday service (pictured).


  • City folk invest in nature’s bounty
    July 4, 2016

    canada story pic 4 - 1City people are networking with nature, thanks to A Rocha UK’s colleagues in Canada.

    On a fact-finding visit there last month (June), A Rocha UK chief Andy Atkins viewed A Rocha Canada’s (ARC) work of reconnecting people with God’s world. He toured a deprived area of Vancouver, where ARC promotes community gardening.


    ‘Over the last four years, ARC has developed a network of nearly 40 community gardens linked to local churches,’ Andy explained, ‘with around 400 people directly involved, and many more benefitting indirectly.’

    Community Gardens Mobiliser Queenie Hewitt (pictured with urban gardener Jason Wood of SoleFood Street Farms) told him it was ‘wonderful’ to see. ‘Through learning about God’s creation – soil, seeds and seasons – city dwellers are being reintroduced to the wonders of nature,’ she said.

    ‘The simple act of regularly tending a small food plot ... Read more...

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