Partnership encourages parishes to embrace water conservation

United Utilities and the Diocese of Chester came together on World Water Day (22 March) to encourage 273 parishes across the diocese to think about water efficiency.

Chair of the Diocesan Environment Forum, Rev Mike Loach and Sheena Wilson, Buildings for Mission Adviser met with Mark Booth, Merseyside Area Engagement Lead at United Utilities to receive a new water butt at his church, Christ Church Bebington and to launch the new water efficiency resource that has been created for parishes.

Rev Mike said, “During this season of Lent, many Christians think about reducing consumption, giving something up or taking something on.  With peace and cohesion as the theme of UN World Water Day this year, we’re reminded that when water is scarce or polluted, or when people have unequal, or no access, tensions can rise between communities and countries.

“It’s hard to believe that 2.2 billion people still live without safely managed drinking water, including 115 million who drink surface water. In the UK, we take for granted the simple things like being able to boil a kettle full of clean water for a cup of tea, take a shower or flush the loo, but we must never forget our responsibility to brothers and sisters around the world who are less fortunate.

“At the heart of the Christian faith is Jesus’ command to love God and love each other and that brings a commitment to uphold the sanctity of God’s Creation, protecting our rivers and shores, and to provide safe drinking water for all.”

Presenting the volunteers at Christ Church with a new water butt, United Utilities’ Mark Booth said, “We seem to have had nothing but rain over the last six months, so it’s easy to forget that weather patterns are changing. Water butts are fantastic way to even out the peaks and troughs of rainfall – the storage they provide helps to ease the pressure on sewers during storms, and then provide a much-needed water source for the garden in the drier months of the year when water is more precious.”

Water efficiency ties in with one of the themes of the diocesan vision for the Chester Diocese, Together in Christ, Sharing Hope to care about the environment, locally and globally. The information for parishes is downloadable on the Diocesan website.

UNITED UTILITIES WATER SAVING ADVICE FOR CHURCHES

  • Fix leaks – even small leaks can make a big difference – one leaking toilet can waste up to 400 litres of water a day, that’s 146,000 litres a year or over 500,000 cups of tea.
  • Fix dripping taps – which can waste thousands of litres of water a year. If you have any outside taps, don’t forget to give that a quick check over too.
  • Education – a great way to save water is to encourage church members to help by showing them how easy it is to save water.
  • Posters – create simple stickers or posters to encourage water saving behaviour, like turning off the tap when washing hands and reporting leaks if they notice any.
  • Bulletin inserts – explain why it’s important to save water and help others to save water in church and at home.
  • Eco-projects – ask the community to take part in an eco-project to talk about ways to save water and energy.
  • Water saving devices – consider fitting tap aerators which will save water without affecting water pressure.
  • Water butts – install water butts or larger rainwater tanks to collect rainwater for re-use, can also help to reduce flooding.
  • Rainwater planter – slow the flow of rainwater into drains during heavy rain, helping to reduce flooding and provide habitats for insects and wildlife.

Image: (L-R) Sheena Wilson, Buildings for Mission Adviser, Diocese of Chester – George Nelson Christ Church, Bebington – Rev Mike Loach, Vicar of Christ Church Bebington & Chair of the Diocesan Environment Forum – Mark Booth, Merseyside Area Engagement Lead, United Utilities – Mike Thorne volunteer, Christ Church, Bebington – Pam Hollinshead, Reader, Christ Church Bebington

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