Llanpumsaint Church achieved a bronze award in March 2020, continuing on their Eco Church journey to achieve their silver award two years later in February 2022. They shared a few of their recent Eco Church activities with Delyth Higgins, our Eco Church Officer for Wales.
Eco-themed Open Church Event
Our small rural church in a village with a population of about 800 people partnered with other churches in our Local Ministry Area, Plant Dewi, our diocesan children’s charity, our local allotment association and the local bus company (who provided free transport), to host an eco-themed open church event.
The event attracted over 60 people and focused on the Biblical creation story in Genesis and our call to be good stewards of God’s Earth as an expression of love for God and our neighbour. There was a Godly play session on the creation story, we made recycled bird feeders, planted wildflowers and vegetables, made and shared local, organic, animal-friendly and fair-trade (LOAF) cawl together, established our bug hotel, had a fair-trade stall, and a host of other activities and games. A great day, all in all!
Llanpumsaint Church hosts a pop-up café every Tuesday from 11.30am – 2.30pm. This is a not-for-profit café entirely run by volunteers. Our small rural church is about seven miles away from the nearest town, in a village with no local shop. The café offers a place at the centre of the village for people to meet and chat or just to get out of the house and have a quiet cuppa.
We offer unlimited fair-trade tea and coffee for 50p (you won’t get that at larger coffee chains!) as well as a range of other local, organic, animal-friendly and fair-trade (LOAF) drinks and snacks. We try to gently educate our guests about LOAF eating and our Eco Church endeavours through the example set at the café.
A generous grant from Carmarthenshire Connected Communities Fund has meant that we can provide a range of newspapers for customers to enjoy whilst at the café, and then at the end, these are placed into our community book share phone box for anyone to take away.
Revamping our village phone box into a book exchange kiosk
DOTs Church Youth Group and Llanpumsaint Community Council worked in partnership to revamp the disused telephone box that is outside Llanpumsaint Church. The telephone box is owned by the Community Council, who kindly provided the paint and tools for the revamp whilst the young people were doing the work. This began in late 2021 by stripping off the old paint and cleaning up the inside. The young people organised a cabinet for the books to be put inside. They added an extra coat of red paint and made some signs too.
The ‘service’ is completely free to use. You can choose a book and keep it as long as you want or swap it with one of your own and leave a comment in the visitors’ book too.
The young people were working towards their silver Peace Mala Accreditation Award, and the book exchange kiosk contributed to this through their contribution towards the community. It also contributed to our Eco Church ethos, as we have reused the phone box and the filling cabinet, and all the books have been donated and reused.
A big thank you to all who have helped this project succeed. The kiosk is now used regularly and is really appreciated by members of the community – a real community asset and a worthwhile up-cycling project!
With thanks to the team at Llanpumsaint Church for sharing their story!