Community Links

June – July 21

ECO CHURCH( An A Rocha UK Project)

As this newsletter is being written we all realise that to avoid the forecast over heating of our world more needs to be done.  Road transport in the UK releases the same amount of greenhouse gasses as it did in the 1990s and our Government has got plans to spend £27billion on new roads and every major airport in the UK has plans to expand.  Houses currently being built continue to release greenhouse gasses as much as they did in 2014 and so there is much more to be done to make the difference that is required.  Something must change if we are to stand a chance of things getting better.

At last, we are now more conscious of the heating of our world and the dangers that this brings to everyone. Whilst governments and businesses, both here and across the world, need to do more to reduce greenhouse gasses, we too as individuals have our part to play in the way we live our lives. As Christians we are charged with looking after God’s world so it can be passed on to future generations in good order.  Our actions play a part in all of this and as Christians we want to be able to play a leading part in the way we live our lives caring for God’s world.  The URC’s Green Apostles that work with us in our churches across the Synod are helping us to focus on things that we can do together and individually. As you know we at Westbury Gardens have committed ourselves to seek ways of reducing our CO2 footprint and have become an Eco Church. Our efforts have been recognised and we as a church have been awarded a Bronze award from A Roche and are hoping we will be able to achieve a Silver award by doing more as we go forward.

Each of us also are encouraged to think about the effect we are having on the environment through the way we live of lives day to day, in our homes, and when we are out and about.   Global warming is a very serious threat to the existence of our whole World, and we must do all we can to combat it.  It is essential therefore that we support and encourage each other to do all we can to make our individual, and our collective CO2 footprints, as small as possible. Sharing our ideas on how to do this would be good so if you have some thoughts on how to do this, please let your Elder or the Church Secretary know, sharing/swapping ideas will help each of us and others so it would be great to hear about your ideas and any contributions, however small, you are making to combat Climate Change.  We can collect your ideas and publish them in future newsletters to encourage each other on this urgent journey to look after our precious world.

Green Apostles: All URC synods have appointed at least one ‘Green Apostle’ whose role is to provide information, support and encouragement to the synod and local churches in ways to care for creation.

The North Western Synod Green Apostles are –

Rev’d Daleen ten Cate – our Missional Discipleship Mentor

Rev’d Kate Gray

Rev’d Dr. Rosalind Selby


April – May 21

South East Blackburn Community Food Club (SEB)

As you know we as a church are supporting the work of SEB as they make a significant contribution to meeting the pressing need for food within our community.  They are now supplying 107 food boxes each week to individual families and to local schools.  We are very pleased to be able to support/help SEB in this most important work and wish to express our sincere thanks to them for all they are doing to help our local community.

ECO CHURCH( An A Rocha UK Project)(April – May)

There are now 3,400 Eco Churches in the UK which includes us at Westbury Gardens, and getting more every week with 1,400 more churches looking to register at the moment and   nearly all the URC Synods are now Eco Synods.  The Eco Church project has just celebrated its 5th Anniversary at a special service held on 26th March on zoom

As a Bronze Award Eco-Church we at Westbury Gardens are looking to find ways to do more as a church and encourage all our members to think how we each can become more Eco friendly in our daily lives.  If you have any good ideas that you would like to share, please let us know and we will share them in our next newsletter. For example, when buying tissues, toilet paper etc., most supermarkets sell these made from recyclable materials.  Put caring for our world at the top of your shopping list. You will see below that Neville has had a couple of good ideas.  Every little helps in whatever you are doing because as a country and as a world we are trying to reach zero carbon emissions by 2050 and it was mentioned in the 5th Anniversary service that the Church of England have now set a new target for themselves to reach zero carbon by 2030 we must therefore do all we can to help.

Eco-church tips from Neville

Dental floss, we are all encouraged to use it daily to improve our dental health, but it usually contains non-biodegradable plastic.  BUT there is biodegradable floss & pick sticks available online at

I have also discovered an eco-friendly fabric conditioner “Botanical origin” to go with my “Ecover” laundry liquid, and washing up liquid.  You can also get eco-friendly cat litter made locally from wood waste.

Oh yes, I also use a wonderful fairly-traded bar soap from  It’s made in South India from locally sourced natural products, contains no nasty chemicals, and comes in two lovely fragrances: Neem and Sandalwood.  It gives a lovely rich lather and seems to last longer than cheaper alternatives.  They also make a soap dish from natural stone that is very efficient, the soap quickly dries out and doesn’t go soft & slimy.

Green Apostles: All URC synods have appointed at least one ‘Green Apostle’ whose role is to provide information, support and encouragement to the synod and local churches in ways to care for creation.

The North Western Synod
Green Apostles:

Rev’d Daleen ten Cate – our Missional Discipleship Mentor

Rev’d Kate Gray

Rev’d Dr. Rosalind Selby


Aims of Christian Aid – We stand together. For dignity. For equality. For justice.

‘When Rose was a young girl, there was plenty of food but now, the rains are totally unreliable. The climate crisis has galvanised extreme weather and Rose’s community are feeling the brunt of it. Like Rose and her family millions of people in Kenya are struggling to get enough food and water. Your gift could help build an earth dam, so that when the rains do come, they will have the water they need to live. People like Rose need every drop to survive the drought. We therefore must remember –

  • Climate chaos is one of the greatest injustices we face.
  • Together we can STOP this climate crisis.
  • Every donation.
  • Every gift can change lives.

This Christian Aid Week, will you stand with people like Rose for every last drop and help them fight the climate crisis?

Because we can’t do our usual collection for Christian Aid week if you would like to send a donation please send it direct to Christian Aid or contact Margaret for details.

April 2021

Give Thanks for your Vaccine  

The United Reformed Church has launched a ‘Give Thanks for your Vaccine’ campaign to raise funds for health care in the developing world through Christian Aid.  By 17th March the church had raised £8,895 of its £10,000 target.  In the UK about 30% of people had had their first dose of a corona virus vaccine by the end of February.  But for the poorest and most vulnerable communities across the world, there is little hope of a vaccine rollout.  These are people who already face a lack of water, food, and basic health care.  Christian Aid is already working in these places, helping keep people safe from Corona virus, and the URC’s campaign will help the charity to do more.

A campaign has been launched by the URC’s Commitment for Life programme, inviting those who have had the vaccine to show gratitude by helping to protect global neighbours while the vaccine is out of reach.

The Rev’d Dr. Kevin Snyman, commitment for Life programme Officer, has explained ‘many of our Commitment for Life partner Regions, already facing the hard edge of climate disruption, must deal not only with a shortage of vaccines, but also the danger of debt that will be required to pay for protection against Covid 19.

Of the 120 million vaccinations to date 70% of these have been administered in the 50 richest countries around the world.  Countries such as South Africa have had to pay more than twice as much for doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca’s vaccine than most European countries.

If you or a family member has received a vaccine and would like to express your gratitude by helping the campaign with a donation, please visit or if you would like to donate to this cause through our church please contact Margaret or Derek for further information.