London churches to help the capital bee greener

The Conservation Foundation’s tree planting programme for London’s Churches supported by the Mayor of London.

Churches across London can make their neighbourhood a greener, more bee-friendly place as part of a new project supported by the Mayor of London.

The Conservation Foundation’s Trees for Sacred Spaces project is enabling churches in the London, Southwark, Chelmsford and Rochester dioceses to plant trees that support bees and other pollinators as part of the Mayor’s ambition to make London one of the greenest cities in the world. The tree plantings will also offer an opportunity for churches to organise events and ceremonies that involve members of other faiths in their parishes to celebrate and help to enhance the environments that people of all faiths and no faith share.

There are over 600 churchyards or areas of church land within Greater London.  Whilst not all churches have suitable spaces, those with no space to plant a tree will be encouraged to donate one to a school or community garden within their parish, helping to increase London’s tree canopy cover and support bees and other wildlife to thrive in London.

The project is supported by the diocesan bishops. The Rt Revd Richard Chartres, Bishop of London, explains that he has a special reason to support the project.  “I retire in February and cannot think of a better way to leave my mark on my time as Bishop.”  Bishop Chartres played a pivotal role in developing The Conservation Foundation’s Yews for the Millennium project which planted over 8000 yew trees, many in churchyards, throughout the country to celebrate the year 2000.

The Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, is equally enthusiastic and hopes that many of his churches will use the opportunity to involve other faiths. He explains, “The Mayor of London’s tree planting initiative is an innovative way of contributing to the life of London’s communities by improving the city’s air quality and also brightening its public spaces. He continues, “The Diocese of Southwark is playing its part in the initiative by giving all of our parishes in the Greater London area a tree for their churchyard, or to pass to their local schools and community gardens. I am pleased to commend this project as an important way of helping to steward the earth’s natural resources

The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, says: “Although only some of our churches are in the Greater London area I am delighted there will be trees for them and I am hoping that as many as can will find a sacred space, however small. We really need to do all we can to encourage biodiversity in the London part of our diocese.”

In the Diocese of Rochester, churches in the Archdeaconry of Bromley and Bexley fall under Trees for Sacred Spaces. The Ven Dr Paul Wright says, “Anything that reminds us of God’s wonderful created order is a very good thing.  Trees are a powerful sign of this beauty and stability.  This scheme provides an opportunity to remind us of our relationship with creation.  I know Bishop James will welcome this initiative and the opportunities it may bring in my Archdeaconry of Bromley and Bexley.”

Welcoming the involvement of churches, Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, Shirley Rodrigues, says, “The Mayor wants London to be one of the world’s greenest cities and is introducing a wide range of measures to fulfil this ambition: a first step has been the commitment to provide £750,000 to plant more than 40,000 new London trees this winter, including helping The Conservation Foundation plant more than 600 trees in or near churchyards across London.”

David Shreeve, director of The Conservation Foundation, says, “A fifth of the capital is already covered by trees but some parts of London are short of greenery. Churches can play an important role in helping to make these areas look and feel better by planting one of the trees. All the trees available will be bee-friendly and therefore as well as benefiting London’s landscape and atmosphere they will also be supporting the capital’s pollinators.”

The trees will be available between March and June 2017. Those wishing to take part are asked to visit to find out more and to register to receive trees.

National C of E news Releases
Webpage icon A prayer for all students awaiting their exam results
Webpage icon Discussion Paper on Welfare
Webpage icon New plans to expand network of support on money and debt
Webpage icon Theological literacy boosted by new Christianity resource for schools
Webpage icon Church Commissioners announce total 2015 return on investments at 8.2%
Webpage icon HM Duke of Edinburgh joins celebration of 150 years of Reader ministry
Webpage icon Government’s English Churches and Cathedrals Sustainability Review welcomed by
Webpage icon CofE senior manager recognised in two national LGBT awards
Webpage icon Prayers for HM The Queen’s 90th Birthday published
Webpage icon National C of E news Releases
Webpage icon 22 cathedrals benefit from First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund
Webpage icon Rap song released highlights the dangers of pay-day industry “Grooming young p
Webpage icon BNP and National Front incompatible with teaching of Church
Webpage icon New building licence to help churches remove bats
Webpage icon Church of England launches new Church Legacy website
Webpage icon Bishops Welcome Participant Observers to First Meeting
Webpage icon Church boosts digital presence with new app
Webpage icon Scheme launched for would-be young vicars
Webpage icon Prayers for November 2013 General Synod
Webpage icon Women in the Episcopate: Statement from the Archbishops
Webpage icon Archbishop Justin meets Pope Francis in Rome
Webpage icon London Beyond Sight – the capital’s churches inspire
Webpage icon New-look Reflections app takes Mark the Evangelist’s message to new audience
Webpage icon Girlguiding should keep God in its Promise and provide space for young to explor
Webpage icon Vicar of St George’s Church, Baghdad: no better time than Lent to reflect

Copyright 2015 © The Diocese of Rochester. Registered Office: St Nicholas’ Church, Boley Hill, Rochester, Kent, ME1 1SL. Registered Charity No. 249339 The Rochester Diocesan Society and Board of Finance is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England No. 140656