St Aldate's Church, Gloucester
Actions carried out for which the
Christian Ecology Link
Millennium Challenge Certificate
will be presented shortly
- Installed low energy light bulbs in the church
- Screened off the transepts - Jubilee Lounge and Lady Chapel - to create a coffee bar and conserve heat
- Partially double glazed the church (it is a modern church with much glass)
- Obtained planning permission to turn the balcony into an environmental office - to conserve heat, improve acoustics, enable the church too be open all day, and to be a centre for environmental work in the city
Use only sustainable wood in new screens, choir stalls, shelves, panelling (in a 1965 church largely built with woko and other rain-forest woods)
Held a weekly Traidcraft stall in church
Recycles rubber bands, stamps and paper. Reuses envelopes
Composts floral decorations
Plans to green the church roof with grass and herbs. Architects drawings have been made
Formed the St Aldate's Environmental Centre in 1988 - registered as a charitable trust in 1994
_______ St Aldate's Church, Gloucester _______
The St Aldate's Environmental Trust runs a Centre with the same title:
- With the City council it challenged the diocesan plan to build houses on the vicarage garden, leading to a public enquiry
- It obtained a tree preservation order on churchyard and vicarage grounds
- It formed a trust with representatives on the City Council, LEA, local neighbourhood centre, local community, local church
- Maintains an environmental centre to : raise environmental awareness, keep animals, maintain a nature reserve, run workshops and other activities for schools and local children, train unemployed people, volunteers, students, pupils, community service volunteers, demonstrate best energy use and sustainability projects, host environmental meetings, run conferences and seminars, exhibit at shows and in public places, network and use the media
- Its Executive Trustee chairs the City Council Environment and Ecology forum, the City Agenda21 group, the city Civic Pride Campaign, the city Britain in Bloom entry, and sits on many other environmental groups. The centre staff respond to and promote environmental matters.
- The Centre receives visitors from as far as Kenya, Switzerland, Leeds, Carlisle and Exeter.
- The Centre has exhibited at the Gloucester Diocesan Conference at Swanwick, the USPG Council and the Archbishop's Council Environmental Conference
- The Centre has three paid staff and has 10 trainees in co-operation with other agencies and schools.
- The Churchyard hosts geese, goats a sheep and a pony
- The vicarage garden hosts geese, swans, chickens, ducks, rabbits, chinchillas, guinea pigs plus wild animals, besides the 20 or so indigenous species of ducks and geese
- The two acre total site hosts over 110 tree species (all those introduced to Britain before 1650) plus four ponds
- The church car park has been levelled to produce an open-all-hours free floodlit basketball court
- Recycling bins for cans, paper, and clothes are set up in the church yard
- The Parish Hall has been developed as a community and environmental centre, with an environmental office
- Both church and hall have toilets for wheel chair users and the hall has "environmental" toilets
- Individual storage and cupboard space have been constructed for all hall users.
- Eight large environmental displays are situated in the hall and the church often hosts environmental exhibitions
- Rainwater from the vicarage and hall are directed to ponds
- A rainwater conservation system is in use at the hall with solar panels, wind turbine, and filter supplying water to the toilets and basins.
- A 35 metre reed bed is in use in the vicarage garden to purify water for the major pond
- Interpretive signs are displayed in many places
- The centre promoted for the city council and other city authorities an electric car - meanwhile its sustainable transport is a pony and cart!
- Plans are being made to use solar power and a wind turbine at the vicarage to use roof rainwater, besides that already channelled to ponds
- The centre has offered to help any church in the diocese with environmental audits and tree planting