A chance to celebrate God's wonderful creation on Earth Day

9th May 2024

Flax Bourton Church were blessed with wall-to-wall sunshine as they celebrated Earth Day ensuring all the prepared churchyard activities were a great success. Climbing plants such as honeysuckle, rose, passionflower, and clematis were planted against newly installed hazel. Over time they will attract a whole range of pollinating insects, which in turn should increase the presence of other creatures. Members of the congregation supported a small group of children in making a pond, adding to the features put in last year, such as herb planters, a crab apple tree, and benches.

A bioblitz showed a marked increase in invertebrate species from last year, suggesting that the church’s policy of leaving unmown islands and highways of grass in the churchyard is really making an impact.
Inside the church, the café - which applies LOAF (locally produced, organically grown, animal friendly or fairly traded) - principles did a roaring trade, raising much-needed funds to support A Rocha, Avon Wildlife Trust, and Flax Bourton Church’s own Eco-projects. 

"Treecology" created by a group of six North Somerset artists celebrated trees and their ecological importance, as did an exhibition by the local community highlighting their favourite trees, with many people citing trees that had played a special part in their families' lives. The local primary school produced a series of pointillist paintings inspired by nature, informed by the work of Georges Seurat.

Eco-Church team leader, Adrienne Hughes said, “Families enjoyed developing their understanding and awareness of nature and the environment through craft activities, including making pinch pots, exploring the nature table and prayer tree, making pressed flower cards, building a nature-themed stained-glass window, and crafting cardboard bats (supported by an information display with the obligatory tube of bat poo to snigger at!)”

On the day local traders supplied produce, plants, local honey, upcycled bags, driftwood models, candles, soaps, and gut-friendly foods. Posset Felters came along with fascinating information about Eco-dyeing and demonstrated spinning fibres. The ever-popular book swap and seed exchange did a roaring trade and is now available in the church porch all year round.

Adrienne summed up the day, “All in all, it was a marvellous day, we closed with some songs from the local acapella group, the Barberettes, and Revd James Harris blessed our new 'St. Michael' church window. I remarked on the fact that last year in the churchyard, I had been privileged to watch a tiny goldcrest busy in the yew tree. The day before Earth Day, I spotted three! Perhaps a sign that Eco projects take time to have an impact, but slowly, slowly we are making a difference to nature in our own backyard, and everyone can do the same.”

It comes as no surprise to hear that just a year on from achieving the Bronze Eco-Church award, Flax Bourton Church has achieved Silver. We suspect the team has Gold in their sights!

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