We are committed to looking after the environment in our communities and beyond. At St John the Baptist we’ve just finished a new bug hotel as part of our work as an A Rocha UK Eco Church.
One major area of concern for our earth is a big drop in the number or insects. Many areas kept for the good of wildlife are installing ‘bug hotels’. These ‘hotels’ are designed to have what lots of insects and some reptiles need to breed and flourish. The hotel at St John the Baptist is about the size of a pallet. It has been packed with lots of types of wood. This will be left to rot down naturally.
Today all the earth is increasingly polluted. We face global environmental deterioration. We understand this damage fills God’s heart with pain. Like all landholders we can choose how we manage it. We are working to better balance the needs of wildlife and people in our churchyards. Installing a bug hotel at the East end of the churchyard in St John is part of that balancing act. The bug hotel is on the edge of an existing strip that has been kept in a way which encourages wildflowers.
The drop in the number of insects is bad because we benefit hugely from their presence. Disturbing the delicate balance in the insects world is dangerous. It can lead to devastating plant diseases. Without insects like bees plants will not bear fruit or grain that we can eat. This is why deliberately providing good spaces for bugs is beneficial for the whole eco-system.
We are part of the Eco Church scheme from A Rocha. This helps us check that we are looking after the earth in the best way we can. The scheme is changing the way we run our buildings and keep our land. It also helps us work together with other churches across England to have a bigger effect.
We depend on earth for all of life. It seems that we have forgotten that we are from the dust of the earth. As Pope Francis put it in Laudato Si his ‘encyclical’ or letter for churches: ‘our very bodies are made up of her elements, we breathe her air and we receive life and refreshment from her waters…Our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us’.