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 a Social Responsibility group which is especially concerned with areas of Fair Trade, Environmental Awareness and connections with our Community.
We are proud to have been a Fair Trade church since 2006. We have committed to using fairly traded products whenever we serve refreshments. We have a stall offering Traidcraft, Zaytoun 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, which is one of the charities we support as a Church.
Our Traidcraft Stall.
We are aware of the EcoChurch scheme (formerly Ecocongregation) administered by A Rocha (see but have decided, at present, not to seek the award. We seek to show our love of and gratitude for our wonderfully created world by promoting environmental issues and initiatives within our church and village.
We started by stopping the use of plastic cups for hot drinks and using the china ones we already had. We write encouraging and informative articles in our parish magazine, highlighting local networks such as Freecycle for reusing goods. We offer ideas for reducing energy consumption such as publicising the home energy monitor loan scheme (available at Bookham Library), and the work of local groups such as Transition Bookham. We also write about the work of Christian environmental groups such as A Rocha, Operation Noah and Tearfund (for example, their Carbon Fast for Lent).
We facilitate innovative recycling by collecting and redistributing many things that Mole Valley District Council cannot, and often items can be recycled for the benefit of charities.
At present we collect:
used stamps (distributed between 5 charities)
plastic mailing wrappers (sent for recycling to Polyprint in Norfolk)
old spectacles (passed on to Mission for Vision)
empty printer cartridges (recycled where possible)
old mobile phones (recycled to benefit Mission to Seafarers))
binoculars (sent to the RSPB for use by conservation organisations in Third World countries)
plastic (supermarket) milk bottle tops (sent for reprocessingwith a donation to a charity)
postcards (collected for Mission Aviation Fellowship)
Each January we promote and participate in the Woodland Trust's Christmas card recycling scheme. One-off collections in which we have taken part in the past include books for a prison library in Kenya.
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.
What We Recycle
We have developed links with groups in our village.
Transition Bookham (http://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 promote and take part in The Meeting Place (http://themeetingplacebookham.webs.com).