Eco Church Steering Group

During last year we realised that there were so many wonderful ideas coming out of our Eco Church that, in order for them to come to fruition, we would need a steering group. This is an informal group and is open to and anyone who is interested in helping to organise the activities, events and projects that we have underway. We’ve started meeting once a month, usually in St Catherine’s Chapel. We decided to take minutes so that everyone can see what we’re doing, and be inspired to join in! I’ll post the current minutes on this page, but previous minutes are available on the drop down tab.

Notes of meeting held in St Catherine’s Chapel at 2pm on Monday 17th February 2020

Present: Ali Morley, Sylvia Beardsmore, Fiona Jepson, Helen Bradstock, Liz Fletcher, Anna, Annabelle, Rose Gillett

  1. Apologies were received from Mary Jackson and Jane Dauncey.
  2. The minutes of the last meeting were taken as read.
  3. Matters arising:
  • Eco Church Gold Award: A wooden plaque has arrived and it will be displayed on the front porch of church. A banner will be ordered to go on the lych gate. Logos have been devised by Ali and Liz with lettering by a graphic designer contact.
  • Refill project update: We have taken about £300 since we began in September. Ali has tried some Fill sample cleaning products (who have a closed loop recycling system) and is keen to look into ordering in bulk from them. Problems associated with delivery from Northamptonshire and the delay in delivery of products were discussed. More volunteers would be welcome to run the stall at coffee mornings. It has been noticed that visitors to the refill station at Seaview have felt obliged to make donations on entry. The donations bowl will be moved to the tea hatch to avoid this problem in future.
  • Walking group: The next walk is this Thurs 20th February. The intention is to walk to Quarr Abbey, via Ali’s parents’ house at Upton, and Holy Cross Church Binstead. The weather forecast is poor, but we have agreed to meet at 10.30 at St Helens Church. We will then decide whether to do a shorter walk to Seaview, or to cancel the walk altogether. The next walk is provisionally set for Thursday 2nd April, when we will walk to Quarr Abbey if it is too wet on 20th February.
  • Schools Work: We have arranged to go into St Helens School on 9th March to work with the Year 3-4 class on flowering plants and pollinators. We will make seed bombs and a flower/ bee collage. This will be Ali, Rose, Liz and Helen.Ali will contact Bev, the head teacher at Brading School, about providing the same workshop there this term. Ali reported that there is a gardening club at Nettlestone School who are doing similar activities. It was agreed that the children at St Helen’s school might be invited to the Mothering Sunday service (22nd March) to throw their seed bombs into our hedgerow or wildlife areas at church.
  • Tree pack: The pack of 30 hedgerow trees from Woodland Trust will be arriving during the next month. The saplings will need to planted within 7 days of delivery. We will look at the area to plant the hedgerow during Eco Church on Sunday 23rd February and agree a planting plan.
  • Church Yard: Ali has asked the Natural History and Archaeological Society to come and talk to us about the glow worms. This is to be arranged. It is hoped that they will help with signage for the flora and fauna in the churchyard.
  • Brading Eco Church: Anna and Ali told us about the new projects starting at Brading church. The community garden outside the church hall is well underway, with a variety of plants planted via a permaculture method. Two fruit trees have been planted. Volunteers meet on Friday mornings to work on this. On Saturday 8th February volunteers met to begin work preparing the land next door to the church. These are ongoing community projects and anyone can participate.
  • In addition, Brading Church is going to become a Terracycle recycling point. Pens, crisp packets, biscuit wrappers, sweet wrappers, Ella Food pouches, cosmetics, lipstick, lip balm, mascara, toothpaste tubes and toothbrushes will be collected. Alison Beak has volunteered to take them to the Masters of Disguise shop in Watchbell Lane, Newport, who will send them off to Terracycle. We might instigate collections at St Peter’s and St Helen’s churches.

4. Eco Church Gathering 23rd February 3.30pm: Ali has invited Barbara Dyer, from the Historical Society, to look at the churchyard and discuss ways to accommodate the needs of visitors to the older graves. Ali will invite Rob, the groundsman and have the churchyard plans available. We will have the worship at the end of the meeting before the meal. Ali will lead the worship. Food arrangements are as follows: Bread- Helen, Cheese- Jane, Cake- Rose, Crudités- Liz, Butter- Ali, Milk – Sylvia. The March Eco Church gathering will be March 22nd at 3.30pm.

5. Craft Workshop 29th February 12-4pm: Liz and Sylvia have volunteered to organise the lunch. Activities include wax wraps, felted soap making, decoupage pots, gift bag making, Easter egg decorating, knitting, and craftivism embroidery (see below AOB).

6. Diocesan Lent Challenge (Feb 26th – April 9th): The Anglican Church is focussing on the climate with its Lent resources this year and Portsmouth Diocese have produced a 40 day Lent challenge, “An Action a Day” – an on-line or print-out resource. Ali will print some of these out to distribute at Eco Church (attached).

7. Fairtrade Fortnight (24 February – 8th March): We will have Fairtrade stalls at the coffee mornings and try to display information about Fairtrade on the Island.

8. Talk about Recycling plans on the Island: Helen has been in touch with Simon Butler from Amey/ Waste management IWC. It is not possible to arrange a visit to the new energy production / recycling plant yet, but Simon will come and talk to us about recycling on the Island. We agreed to try to arrange a meeting at St Mary’s church hall, Brading on the afternoon of 1st May. We will put out the refill station and information about Eco Church projects

9. A.O.B:

  • We are hosting a Community Quiz at the Community Centre on 28th March, to raise additional funds for the building project. This will be Earth Hour day (from 8.30-9.30) so we are planning to incorporate a short lights-out interval where Ali can explain about Earth Hour and our Eco Church focus. We will try to obtain a short David Attenborough clip to play in the dark.
  • There is a Day Conference on “Environmental Change on the Isle of Wight” on 4th April at the Riverside Centre, Newport. £12 entry fee includes lunch and refreshments. Local and national experts and speakers.
  • A churches’ guide to COP 26 was circulated (attached). We decided to use Cop 26 as a focus for craftivism embroidery, producing a patch work of encouraging environmental-themed messages for our MP in the run up to these UN talks. We will start these at the craft workshop.
  • Christian Aid Week (10- 16 May) We will distribute the Christian Aid resources at services on 10th May. Ali is organising an Island-wide spider cycle on 16th May. This will involve people cycling from churches all over the Island to the Minster in Newport, where brunch will be served. This will be sponsored for Christian Aid. More information to follow.
  • Ali and Helen have been invited to go to a Church in Lee-on-Solent on 28 April, to talk about Eco Church and share ideas for their new group.
  • School Art Project: Thanks to all who submitted pieces of art work from the church for their community project – and to Paul and Mary for making a generous donation from the coffee morning fund to the school. The pieces will be displayed at school on Fri 28th and Saturday 29th February. A photographic record will be kept of the event by the school.

10. The date and time of the next meeting: The next Steering Group is set for 27th April at 2pm in St Catherine’s Chapel.

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