We have been delighted to hear of the progress made by St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Blackrock, since we visited in Autumn 2012 to talk to enthusiastic members of the church about how they could get going on environmental matters. We thank their Eco-Congregation coordinator, Cherry Poynton, for sending us this update:
We have created a raised flowerbed opposite the church door which the children in Junior Church have planted up with a mixture of perennials and annuals. The annuals will be removed in the autumn and replaced with spring bulbs.
The rear wall of the church which backs on to the tower, largely behind the organ, has been insulated and we notice the difference!
Coffee and tea served after church is always Fairtrade.
We have been trying to find light bulbs that don't wear out in a couple of months - the old ones have lasted several years - andhopefully the last purchase seems to be giving us decent illumination as well as lasting. We will gradually replace all the bulbs in due course.
Heating is something that we were always very careful about and our system is such that we only need to heat rooms in use. The church heating was updated last year with the most energy-efficient type we could afford. The heating in the church hall likewise but it is on a time switch operated by a coin meter so, if it is inadvertently left on, it automatically goes off when the money runs out! There are some ancillary rooms, which are used only by the congregation or congregational organizations, like JuniorChurch, which we will look at in due course to see how we can heat more effectively.
We had hoped to have Bible studies and some discussion groups on creation and ecological matters in the New Year but our minister is retiring soon and our short-term future during the vacancy will be led by an unknown, so I think that will be"on hold". Meanwhile, Rev. Campbell is regularly using some specifically creation-related prayers.