The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
Genesis 2 v 15
At St Nicolas we have an Eco Team (formerly the Social Responsibility group) which is concerned to raise awareness about Fair Trade, Environmental issues and connections with our Community.
We are proud to have received our Silver Eco Church Award from A Rocha acknowledging how we have encouraged and worked with the church family at St Nicolas to express our care for God’s world in our worship and teaching; in how we look after our buildings and land; in how we engage with our local community and in global campaigns, and in the personal lifestyles of our congregation. This award has inspired us to consider further ways the church family can express our care of God's world and to aim for the gold next time.
Queens Green Canopy - celebrating HM Platinum Jubilee 2022
The ECO Team have planted 4 new trees in various forms, colours, fruits in the churchyard as part of the Queens Green Canopy for HM Platinum Jubilee. A number of churchyard trees have been lost in the last few years due to Ash dieback disease, to storms and reaching their lifespan so it was an apt time to replace them with UK native trees which are wildlife friendly.
Outside the West door we have planted a Malus Royal Beauty (crab apple) in weeping form with beautiful blossom to greet visitors as they leave the church or to enhance wedding photographs.
In the north of the churchyard next to the Memorial Garden and adjacent to the bird feeder we have planted a colourful Sorbus Olympic Flame (Rowan) in columnar form to reflect the affinity with the monolithic memorial stones.
In the east of the churchyard we have planted a Prunus Avium (Wild Bird Cherry) in spreading form - a favourite with birds and butterflies alike and a striking Crataegus Laevigata 'Crimson Cloud' (Hawthorn Tree) in oval form.
We have been a Fair Trade church since 2006 which means that we have committed to using fairly traded products whenever we serve refreshments, and encouraging other users of our church rooms to do the same. We have a stall offering Traidcraft and other fairly traded products for sale once a month on the second Sunday. Additional products can be ordered from the Traidcraft catalogue. We promote Fair Trade fortnight each year with an event raising funds for Traidcraft Exchange, Traidcraft’s development charity.
Our Traidcraft Stall.
We have worked hard to become more environmentally aware as a congregation and as a local community. We started early on by stopping the use of single use plastic cups for hot drinks after the services, and using the china ones we already had. We now use recycled paper for in-house printing and we are gradually replacing all our light bulbs with LED ones. We write encouraging and informative articles in our parish magazine, highlighting local networks such as Freecycle for reusing goods, and promoting ideas such as a Carbon Fast for Lent.
What We Recycle
While recognising that recycling is not the ultimate answer, we facilitate innovative recycling by collecting and redistributing many things that Mole Valley District Council cannot, and often these items can be recycled for the benefit of charities.
At present we collect:
spectacles (passed on to local opticians for reuse in schemes such as Mission for Vision)
plastic milk bottle tops (which are sent for reprocessing with a donation to the conservation charity, A Rocha)
used postage stamps (which are distributed between five charities) to raise funds for them
binoculars (which are passed on to the RSPB for use by conservation groups in Third World countries)
postcards (collected for Mission Aviation Fellowship)
plastic mailing wrappers (which are returned to Polyprint in Norfolk for reprocessing)
mobile phones and certain used printer cartridges (recycled to benefit Traidcraft Exchange)
Foreign/UK notes and coins (even if no longer legal tender) (for Guildford Cathedral's appeal)
Old writing instruments (pens/felt pens etc) – which are passed to Bookham Library for their Terracycle collection
Anyone in our community is welcome to collect - items can be placed in the labelled box near the south door in church from which they are collected regularly. We are pleased to have become well known locally for these collections, and we see this and our commitment to Fairtrade as an integral part of our church's Christian witness.
We have developed links with groups in our village.
Transition Bookham (www.transitionbookham.org.uk) has developed and maintains the St Nicolas Pastoral Centre garden to be a haven for biodiversity with plants in flower year round and features such as a "bug hotel". We will be working with them on their Plastic Free Bookham project.
We promote and take part in The Meeting Place, working to reduce isolation in our local community (http://themeetingplace.org.uk ).
To mark Environment Sunday last June we invited the BRA’s Litter Picking group for refreshments after their session to show our appreciation for their work (www.bookhamresidents.org.uk).
Our ECO leaflet explains more about who we are, what we aim to do, and how you can get involved.
A printable version of our ECO Leaflet can be downloaded here.
This format is suitable for printing and folding in three.
An online version of our Leaflet can be downloaded here.
This format is suitable for reading on a screen.
We have produced a number of ECO Sermons which are available here.
For more information please contact us through The Parish Office