Young church litter pick

On Saturday 27th April the young church will be doing a litter pick in the local area around The Mint. They’ll be using equipment, advice and guidelines that the Council provides to groups doing litter picking. All are welcome to join in – meet at The Mint at 2pm. Steve Hardiman.

Mint wins Silver Award

Just over two years ago The Mint achieved the Bronze Eco Church award under A Rocha UK’s Eco Church scheme. It is designed for churches who want to demonstrate that the gospel is good news for God’s
earth, and the Methodist Connexion encourages churches to engage with the scheme. We have now
won the Silver Award, achieved through the combined efforts of many members of The Mint community.

To achieve the award there are lots of criteria that must be met in four sections. The main section that
was preventing us from receiving silver before now was the one on Property. Since the bronze award the
church has calculated our carbon footprint (and continues to monitor this); our electricity tariff is 100%
renewables; and the new gas boiler has an ‘A’ energy rating. We have also been able to make smaller improvements in the Community and Global Engagement section, and in the Lifestyle section. But we must continue to monitor all the criteria to ensure we address any areas that could slip back. We are really pleased to have been granted our Silver Award, and we continue to look for ways to improve further. Sue Cordery.

Knowing creation, knowing God :

Our extraordinary natural world As the bulbs and flowers continue to poke their heads through the soil, I am reminded of what an amazing world we live in. Yes, there are many, many problems within our world and quite a lot are caused principally by man including warfare, global warming and pollution. However, the words of the song “What a wonderful World” or hymn 102 in our hymn books “For the beauty of the earth” still ring in my ears.
Yes, there are also natural disasters, some caused by the weather which can create massive problems and even loss of life and livelihoods; BUT still the wonders of creation are evident.

In the prayer handbook this year, there was a picture of an oyster shell with a pearl in it – linking to the theme Hidden Treasures. I learnt that pearls are made by marine oysters and freshwater mussels as a natural defence against an irritant such as a parasite entering their shell or damage to their fragile body. They then create a material called nacre, also known as mother-of-pearl, which encases the irritant and protects the mollusc from it. On one of David Attenborough’s programmes, I was fascinated to learn of the journeys that some animals and creatures take just to ensure that their species continues -sometimes very perilous journeys, yet still they make them.

Photo by Peter Cordery

When we visited Westonbirt last autumn I was struck by the immense numbers of acers that we saw, and their abundance of colour range. We also saw Wire netting bushes (Corokia cotoneaster) which originate from N. Zealand and have metallic silver foliage covered in soft hairs. This makes them perfect for dry conditions.
We know that drought tolerance is likely to become an increasingly important factor for gardens like Westonbirt when they decide which species to plant and grow to ensure there are trees for hundreds of years to come. They, like many other centres, study the microclimates and soils to ensure that they plant each tree in the most suitable location.

Photo by Peter Cordery

I was interested to learn from another programme more about the temperate rainforests that can be found in the UK. They occur in parts of N. Ireland, the west coast of Scotland, North and West Wales and of course in Devon, Cornwall and Cumbria. In these areas there is a great diversity of species including mosses, lichen and ferns and numerous creatures including rare butterflies and insects that thrive there and are not found elsewhere. According to BBC Countryfile there are 1,800 species of lichen in the UK, growing on stone, bark, even old leaves.
There are so many amazing things to spot even within our cities and green spaces. Hope you manage to find something to marvel at. Sue Cordery.