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A Lancashire Church of England church is once again proving its green credentials as it aims to win another award to sit alongside one it received last year.

And their efforts are also paying dividends in other ways … with young people from local schools due to get involved in supporting their work, to be good stewards of God’s earth, when they return in the autumn.

Donations received to support the community work have even resulted in plans to replace some windows in the church building too.

All Saints Church in Finch Lane, Appley Bridge, is moving towards the Silver Eco Award from the ‘A Rocha Eco Church’ awards scheme, having won the Bronze award last year.

Recently, a large all-age group of the church family and friends worked hard over a weekend in the churchyard on tree husbandry; grave plot refurbishment; wildlife refuge building; bird box installation; raised bed creation and planting fruit bushes along the boundary fence line. This work was followed by a welcome picnic lunch for everyone.

Vicar, Rev Sue Timmins, said: "I want to thank everyone who took part; whether it was doing the work around the church; providing food and refreshments; donating plants and bringing equipment.

“We have already had bookings for a session in the churchyard from two local schools in the autumn and thanks to the generous donations we have received for our project, we are also about to embark on major window replacement in the church building.

"God's Kingdom here in Appley Bridge is receiving a huge boost thanks to the prayers, efforts and generosity of his people."

The work at the Appley Bridge church was done according to the principles of the ‘A Rocha scheme’, namely Being Good Stewards of God’s Earth.

  1. Reduce waste: Home-made compost was used, the donated water butts installation was started (to reduce mains water used for watering plants etc). 
  2. Re-use: Old food containers have been used to grow blackcurrant, blackberry and raspberry plants to form a new hedge line on the boundary, also used for growing herbs for the raised beds. 
  3. Recycle: Two more donated nest boxes have been installed on churchyard trees. 
  4. Measure: The work party increased biodiversity by providing new homes for plants and animals: the habitats are logpile, scrub (uncut) grass, mown grass, shady areas under trees, a new rockery, insect hotels, nestboxes and a new raised bed.