01 Eco Church

Eco Church News

Keep revisiting this page for the latest Eco Church news and developments


Eco Church smlTue 30 November

Eco Therapy - calling all gardeners!

You might think the garden around St Matthew’s is small, but actually it is surprisingly large – especially when it comes to maintaining and developing it. We are looking at it through an Eco Lens now, as a chance to nurture a growing diversity of plants and creatures.

Can you join the gardening team? We are appealing for help with regular maintenance work to keep invasive weeds and brambles at bay and nurture the many beautiful plants and trees we already have. Weekly, fortnightly, monthly or ad hoc help - all would be hugely appreciated.

If you have limited time or are not able to carry out heavy physical work, we would love your advice or the gift of seeds or plants of wild and/or native species,

If you are interested, please contact Jen Houghton (07792 242 710). You could have a ‘taster’ session if you are new to gardening. No spade, fork or trowel? We will provide!

Remember, you might gain more than you give. Gardens are amazingly good for your mental and physical health, even if you just look at them. How much more so if you help create them!

Eco Church sml Sun 28 November

Choose your Christmas tree carefully. If it is real, consider buying one that can be replanted. If it is artificial, treasure it and reuse it for as many years as you can. Wait until after dark to turn on your Christmas lights, and turn them off before you go to bed.

Send Christmas greetings to the congregation via one large Christmas card. The time and money you save you can put to a good cause, perhaps donate to Kingston Churches Action on Homelessness and phone someone who may be in need of a call to cheer them up.


Eco Church smlSun 21 November

Take an eco action at work – like turning off your computer at the end of the working day or bringing a reusable coffee cup. See how your colleagues react.  

Eco Church smlMon 15 November

In case you are wondering who is in our Eco Church Team - here we are proudly displaying our new Silver Award!  We are Mike Taylor Churchwarden, Sheena Evans, Brenda Tyrrell, Jen Houghton (Team lead holding the award), Chika Ripley, Rev Helen Hancock, Joan Scriven.

And if you want to join us and others on our WhatsApp Eco Church group for tips and ideas and all things Eco, please message Jen Houghton 07792 242710 to join the group.

eco team

Eco Church smlSun 14 November

Explore ways of telling others the truth about climate change. Talk about it with friends and family, observe how people react, visit websites such as theclimatecommsproject.org

Eco Church smlTues 9 November

We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded a Silver Eco Church Award - well done the Eco Church Team and everyone who has been a part of this award - you know who you are!

The challenge is to have even more of us do their bit . . .

silver eco

Eco Church smlSun 7 November

Inform yourself about the climate emergency and ecological crisis by reading websites such as www.campaigncc.org. Pray for those at COP26 seeking global cooperation to combat climate change.

Eco Church smlThurs 28 Oct

COP26 is nearly upon us and as Christians we need to praying for the outcome:

Green Christian has a wide variety of ways into prayer and will have a daily online reflection and prayer meeting.

TearFund is offering a daily SMS feed that brings reports and prayer to your phone.
Christian Aid has created an array of liturgies and prayers, as well as creative and child-friendly approaches to prayer.

Climate Intercessors is a global network of people praying for the environment.  They are sending daily emails from 31 October – 12 November with reports from Glasgow, and are inviting people to join them on Zoom to pray.
Also a a Diocesan event which may be of interest:

Climate change - the science that every churchgoer should know

As Christians our care for the environment is not just a pragmatic and ethical response to the biggest challenge to the earth of our time, but is rooted in our understanding of the Gospel and God’s love for all creation.  Part of our response to this challenge is to make full use of the gift of science to understand what is going on so that we can make informed decisions about the best approaches.  Bishop Richard is joined in leading this seminar by Dr Nicholas Heavens, who is a research scientist at the Space Science Institute at Boulder, Colorado. 

Monday 8 November, 7.30-9.00pm, Zoom, free
To book your place, email:    ministryandtraining@southwark.anglican.org

Eco Church sml Sun 24 October

Switch to an ethical phone and broadband provider.

Eco Church smlSun 17 October

Have a plastic-free bathroom! Replace shower gels and face washes with packaging-free bars of soap, shampoo and conditioner. Have you tried bamboo toothbrushes?

Eco Church smlVolunteering at Berrylands Nature Reserve

Sessions are being held at Berrylands Nature Reserve for volunteers willing to lend a hand with maintaining and improving the area:

Wednesday 27th October
Wednesday 10th November
Saturday 13th November
Wednesday 24th November

Anyone can drop in on the day - just bring your own gardening gloves. Sessions run from 10:30-12:30, meeting outside of Berrylands Scout Hut on Stirling Walk. You can email berrylandsnr@gmail.com for more info.

Eco Church smlSun 10 October

Contact your pension provider and ask them to divest from fossil fuels (visit the charity shareaction.org for advice). Switch any other savings you may have to ethical ISAs or savings accounts.  

Eco Church smlSun 3 October

Cleanse your personal finances from fossil fuels by switching your current account to ethical banking (e.g. Triodos, the Co-op Bank, Ecology Building Society, Nationwide Building Society).

Eco Church smlSun 26 September

Investigate current campaigns by charities like Tearfund, Christian Aid or Green Christian, and see whether you can support them, for instance by signing a petition or putting up a poster in Church.

Eco Church smlSun 19 September

Write an email to a local councillor, asking what environmental actions they are taking locally. For instance, are they supporting World Car Free Day on 22nd September?
Eco Church smlWed 15 Sept

Saturday 23 October 

South Bank Churches & the Diocese of Southwark invite people of all faiths to a prayer vigil for the success of COP26, the international conference on climate change.

You are encouraged to make a pilgrimage from your place of worship – on foot, by bike, on public transport, or however you wish –  to arrive at Southwark Cathedral between 2pm and 3pm.

Let Brenda Tyrrell know if you are thinking of going, perhaps a church party could go together but don't wait to book - limited tickets!

More details and to book HERE 

Eco Church smlSun 12 September

Sign up to the Climate Coalition mailing list to be informed about lobby days, petitions and marches: www.theclimatecoalition.org

Eco Church sml Sun 5 September

Write an email to your MP, asking what actions they are personally taking to combat the climate emergency or to reduce pollution in the area, or another environmental priority.

Eco Church smlTues 31 August 

Climate Sunday service from Glasgow Cathedral on 5 September

On Sunday 5 September 2021 at 4pm, Christians from across Britain and Ireland will gather in Glasgow Cathedral ahead of COP26. The service will be live-streamed from the cathedral, in the heart of the city where the UN climate talks will take place in November, and will feature contributions from Christian charities, including Operation Noah. More than 1,600 UK churches have already held a Climate Sunday service, and the Nations’ Climate Sunday service will celebrate this achievement, present churches’ pledges to work for change and call on the UK Government to do more on climate. 

Click HERE for the link

Eco Church smlSun 29 August

When ordering food, ask in advance to avoid receiving any unnecessary plastic utensils, straws, etc., buy ice cream in a cone instead of a cup, don't accept "free" promotional products and choose the product with the least amount of packaging.

Eco Church smlSun 22 August

If possible, buy loose fruit and vegetables (take your own bags) instead of pre-packaged. Check out local ‘zero waste’ shops and take your own packaging.

Eco Church smlSun 15 August

If you enjoy a holiday this month, keep up your recycling and waste reduction habits away from home. Pray for Christian Greenbelt Festival organisers who set new environmental targets every year and have eliminated single-use plastic, disposable cups and plastic wristbands.

Eco Church smlSun 8 August

Put a reusable shopping bag or ‘bag for life’ in the inner pocket of every handbag / rucksack /coat / jacket that you use, so that you’re never caught out without one.

Eco Church smlSun 1 August

Invest in a reusable water bottle and coffee cup and make a habit of carrying them everywhere you go.

Eco Church smlTues 27 June

Call for volunteer gardeners/plant donors!

St Matthew’s Church is holding a maintenance morning on Saturday, 14 August from 9am. We plan as part of this to make a start on planting out our new bee- and butterfly-friendly garden, replacing the old rose garden beside the St Matthew’s Avenue entrance to the church.
To begin with, we need one strong person with spade or fork to dig out the remaining roses and a bramble before the planting can start!
After that, we hope as many people as possible, as church members or simply as neighbours and well-wishers, will
i) bring along any plants they have from the list HERE; and/or
ii) help with the planting, bringing their own tools for that purpose if they prefer.
Watering cans and water from the church rainwater butts will be provided.

Why stick to a list?
Two main reasons:
 - to ensure that we are indeed pleasing the bees and butterflies
 - to try so far as possible to plant native (or long-naturalised) English plants, so as to prioritise biodiversity and safeguard the natural environment.
 - Plus a third, caused by the unwelcome discovery of honey fungus in the old rose garden:
for the time being (up to two years), to plant only what is immune or resistant to honey fungus. This means no shrubs or trees for now, since the fungus, which lives on wood, destroys their roots.

What’s in a name?
We haven’t named the new garden yet. Starters for ten are ‘Buzz and Flutter,’ ‘Colour and scent,’ or ‘See and smell,’ but all suggestions welcome!

Eco Church smlSun 25 July

Sort out your wardrobe and take any unwanted items to the charity shop.

Eco Church smlSat 24 June

We now have two local shops which offer zero waste shopping with plastic free, reusable and refillable items to purchase.  You could try out Refillogic at 140 Ewell Road or Sage at 24 Brighton Road.  Either will help you do your bit to Reduce Reuse and Recycle.  (There are, of course, other providers available too! ) 

ALSO Save the Day - Saturday 23 October 

South Bank Churches & the Diocese of Southwark invite people of all faiths to a prayer vigil for the success of COP26, the international conference on climate change.

You are encouraged to make a pilgrimage from your place of worship – on foot, by bike, on public transport, or however you wish –  to arrive at Southwark Cathedral between 2pm and 3pm.

More details and to book HERE 


Eco Church smlSun 18 July

See if you or a friend can use some of your unwanted items to help wildlife in the garden – perhaps turn a bowl or bucket into a mini-bog garden, or spare wood into a bug-house or compost bin.

Eco Church smlSun 11 July

Think three times before you buy something new. Do you really need it? If it is essential, could you make, borrow or buy it second-hand instead?

Eco Church sml Sun 4 July

Eco Tip for this week 

Over the next few months we will be offering an eco-tip each week – here is the one for this week : 

Mend something that’s been sitting around, or that you might otherwise throw away. 
Sew on a button or tighten that loose screw.


Eco Church smlMon 21 June

A few updates from the Eco- Church Team:

The Wildlife survey was successfully completed - thanks to all who took part.  Check out the results HERE to find out what was found in the church garden.

Our very own Myles Perry  attended  the Bishop of Kingston's Young People's Forum on the environment - here he is in action:


Thanks for representing us Myles!


Elliott NewtonJPGIf you would like to hear RBK's Biodiversity Officer, Elliot Newton, talks us through the most effective method of controlling the invasive species, Himalayan Balsam click 
HERE.  Check out the video above to find out more and for some top pulling tips! 
It is an attractive but problematic plant that dominates our green spaces.  You can help other flora to flourish by pulling out Himalayan Balsam on your daily walk (don’t forget your gloves).   It’s important to time this technique so you don’t inadvertently spread more seeds - the best time to pull the plants is now through to early-July.


Friends of Fishponds is inviting volunteers and members to a 'Thank You' to their brilliant team of volunteers and members, by inviting people to a guided nature walk followed by a picnic, on:
Saturday 10th July. 
If you are really keen, you could even kick off the day with a bit of litter picking! However, do feel free to turn up after that bit's over. 
Here's the plan:
10.00 Litter picking round the park
11.00 Coffee and homemade goodies!
11.15 Nature Walk
12.15 Picnic lunch (please bring your own)
So we have an idea of numbers, please let us know if you would like to come.  Email  fishpondssurb@gmail.com
We are planning our next community action day some time in August, by when the nesting season should be over and we can safely do a much wider range of activities. We'll fix the date nearer the time.


Eco Church smlSat 29 May

Wildlife Survey - Do you know your daffodils from your dahlias? Your violets from your vetch?

If so, we need you for our first 'Count on Nature' wildlife survey.

Join others in the grounds of the Church to identify plants and wildlife on Wed 9 June between 10am and 12pm. No expert knowledge required, just an enthusiasm for nature.

For more info, contact Jen Houghton - but no need to book, just come along on the day.

Also we are now proud owners of some water butts - generously installed (and filled!) this week.

2105 water butt

Eco Church smlThurs 13 May 

As part of Eco church it would be great if as members of the church we get involved in local volunteering opportunities.  We will post the ones we get to hear of here so do check back occasionally to see what is happening locally and how you might help:

Do you fancy having a go at the ancient art of scything? If so, now's your chance! Friends of Fishponds Park are planning to hand scythe the park's hay meadow as part of an action day from 10am-1pm on Saturday 22nd May and volunteers will be taught how. No prior experience is necessary. 

If you don't fancy that, there will be a range of other activities - clearing brambles, improving paths and, of course, litter picking. 

If you would like to join in, please email fishpondssurb@gmail.com ASAP and no later than Wednesday 19th May.

Eco Church smlTues 11 May 

Members of our school community are doing a litter pick this Saturday - why not join them?

210511 school litter pick


The Friends of Berrylands Nature Reserve have launched a visitor survey to find out how people enjoy our local green spaces, and to invite suggestions for ways to improve them. You can complete the survey HERE

The group are also resuming in-person volunteering which anyone can get involved in. Opportunities include clearing litter, planting new trees and improving paths. You can find out more and sign up to volunteer for a particular date HERE

If you would like to be kept in the loop about other opportunities, please email  berrylandsnr@gmail.com 


Eco Church smlThurs 8 Apr

HERE is the feedback form for 40 Ways to Spring clean your Life.   Please complete and return so we can learn lessons for next time.

Eco Church smlWed 31 Mar

broken bike

If you have a bicycle in need of repair you can get a £50 voucher towards the cost.  Check the government backed scheme HERE.


Eco Church smlTues 30 Mar
40 Ways to Spring Clean your Life

If you have taken part in our Lent Challenge, we would be really interested to hear what you thought and how it went.  Please complete this short survey and either email your completed form to admin@stmatthewskt6.org. or pop your printed form through Helen's letterbox 

Feedback form

Eco Church smlMon 29 Mar

If you are looking for a creative project, do have a look HERE at a local project run out of the library.  

You are invited to join in a borough wide project to get you thinking about the environment whilst creating some wonderful art out of recycled materials.

You are welcome to upload your art work onto their Facebook group Reading Nature
https://www.facebook.com/groups/reading nature?

or to send it to Surbiton Library, Ewell Road, Surbiton, Surrey KT6 6AG

1) Think of a green pledge you will make and then create a leaf out of recycled materials and write your pledge on this.  They can then be added to the tree in Kingston library so they can all be seen once they re-open.

2) Make a collage out of recycled materials relating to the environment such as an endangered animal - take a photo and post online (as above).

Eco Church sml Sat 27 Mar

We had a call this week with  Councillor Hilary Gander, Surbiton Hill Ward, Portfolio Holder for Environment & Sustainable Transport and a neighbour.  

She gave us some useful links and a paper about recycling in Kingston which works through the South London Waste Partnership (SLWP) which has increased its latest recycling percentage to 48% which remains among the highest in London.  Read more HERE.

She also advised the importance of making sure that all paper and card is dry for recycling. 

The biggest gain we can all make is to use the food waste scheme. 

RBK Recycling and Rubbish Collections Guide 

RBK A-Z of Recycling - what you can recycle and lots more

Kingston Environment Forum FAQs

SLWP's What happens to your recycling


Eco Church Sun 21 Mar

At our PCC meeting last week our new Draft Environmental Policy was considered.  An amendment was requested and HERE is the draft with that amendment included.  As such it is not yet approved by the  PCC but should be at our next meeting.  

Eco Church Wed 17 Mar

Win/Win - recycle and benefit charity!! 


Margaret Thompson, member of St Paul's and Mayor of Kingston is collecting old mobile phones for secure recycling with all the proceeds raised going to one of her Mayor's charities for the year.  Please look out any spare mobile phones you may have lurking at the back of a drawer somewhere and put it through the Vicarage letter box. 

You'll be doing a good thing on many different levels - for the planet and others!

Eco Church smlSun 14 Mar
Marks & Spencer will recycle more plastics than some other venues and the plastic goes into making furniture.

Here is what it takes:IMG 20210314 120459043
Eco Church  Mon 1 March
A Kingston branch of Friends of the Earth is about to be launched with a first Zoom meeting on 11 March 2021 at 7pm.  If you would like to attend register HERE.
Eco ChurchSun 21 Feb
St Matthew's launches Eco Church initiative

We are pleased to announce that we are launching our Eco Church initiative.  We are actively seeking to obtain our Eco Church Bronze Award from A Rocha which means that we are working across the different areas of worship and teaching, lifestyle, buildings, land, community and global engagement.  To kick off this initiative, during Lent we encourage you to take part in our '40 Ways to Spring Clean your Life'.  

If you would like to offer to help with our Eco Church initiative in any way please get in touch with Helen.