Diocese of Portsmouth

    Focus on environment prompts Eco Church award

    18 May 2022

    THE focus on the environment at St Mary’s Church, Fratton, has been recognised with the award of a silver Eco-Church Award from the charity A Rocha.

    The church has installed bike stands outside the church and bought an electric cargo bike to reduce car travel. It also hosted a family open day in May focussing on reducing plastic waste.

    On June 8-9, the church will be the venue for an arts project to mark World Ocean Day. And it will also host a celebration of cycling on August 14.

    The focus on cycling came about partly because churchgoers became aware of the traffic down Fratton Road being a big problem. They wanted a more environmentally-friendly way of carrying things and travelling around the parish. So they leapt at the chance to apply for a Portsmouth City Council grant to make some small changes that would benefit everyone.

    They used the money to install bike stands outside the church and an electric cargo bike. Clergy and other worshippers can be seen using the cargo bike to transport things from home to church, or between the parish's three church buildings.

    The silver Eco-Church award from A Rocha, the Christian charity that is helping churches to care the environment, reflects their commitment so far, but they are determined to do more.

    Among other things, they hosted a family open day in May which was run by the University of Portsmouth. It’s part of the work being done on mapping plastic waste in our city, and included puppets, talks, refreshments – and handy tips to help people cut down on that waste.

    On June 8-9, the church will be hosting an arts project to mark World Ocean Day. It’s produced by ‘1000 Plateaus’, a Portsmouth-based collective of audio-visual artists and performers. They’ll be showcasing some of the art made in local schools, and the work of other artists.

    And on August 14, the church will host a celebration of cycling, and all cyclists will be welcome.

    The family day looking at reducing our use of plastics at St Mary's Church, Fratton

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