The Eco Church scheme aims to create a network of local centres of creation care in the community which are shining beacons of hope for a brighter environmental future. Eco Church encourages member churches to actively demonstrate that the gospel is good news, not only for God's people, but also for God's earth.
It encourages congregations to take action to care for creation across all aspects of our life together. So it challenges us to act in respect of the songs that we sing; of the food that we serve; of the energy that we use; of the ethics of our investments; of the wildlife that finds a home on our land; of the water that flushes the loos, and so on.
Kenilworth Methodist Church achieved a Bronze Award in January 2022 and is working towards the Silver level.
Thanks to the charity Welcome to Our Future which supplies nest boxes for care homes, hospices, schools and other community spaces, KMC now has five more bird boxes available for avian occupation. A tiny open-fronted box for wrens and a larger open-fronted one for robins are now tucked away among the ivy-clad trees while three swift boxes await residents under the eves of the eastern side of the sanctuary.
Swift boxes need to be sited about five metres above ground so they can be approached at speed from below, using gravity to slow the bird’s approach. Ours were installed in May as a training exercise on how to erect the church’s scaffolding tower. And, right on cue as Chris screwed the boxes in place six new arrivals from Africa zipped round overhead!
Swifts are pretty amazing. They're fast fliers with a top speed of 69mph in level flight. They sleep, eat, bathe and mate on the wing, rarely ever touching the ground. They are colonial nesters, pairing for life and returning to the same site each year. They like to live in houses and churches, squeezing through tiny gaps to nest inside roofs. However, as old buildings are renovated swift nest sites disappear so boxes like these become crucial for the survival of this, once common, but now endangered species.
Bird Boxes 2023
In spring '23 we added three swift boxes, a wren box and a robin box to the pre-existing stock of three tit boxes in the church grounds.
Given that one of the tit boxes was commandeered by sparrows, we've now put up a batch of five detached and semi-detached boxes for starlings and sparrows which were made by BBV employees from recycled materials, and weather-proofed in bright colours by the Rangers.
Kenilworth Naturewatch Week’s
Scavenger Hunt took place in the KMC grounds on Wednesday 31st
May. This popular self-guided event was fully booked with 12 families and 18
children plus their parents/carers taking part.
Armed with bug pots, paint brushes and pencils, and aided and abetted by eight adult volunteers, the participants found, felt, counted, identified, observed, drew, smelled and answered questions about flowers, leaves, plants, trees, as well as nature’s pollinator and recycling teams of insects, creepy crawlies and of course wriggly worms.
An hour or so of engrossed activity was rounded off with some natural history pavement art and a cold drink served in Grounds for Hope. It was an enjoyable afternoon for all concerned.