On 19 July, the first of a series of Ecopopper events was held at Highertown – and ‘eco’ is what it was; ‘popping in’ is what we did, writes Richard Hopper.

This event was organised by ‘deanery environment champions’ from the mid-Cornwall deaneries – individuals who want to raise awareness and bring people together in order to make a difference, not only in Cornwall, but also for all inhabitants of planet Earth.

Chris and Sue Harlow lead the ‘Bats in the Belfry’ project, part of the Cornwall Wildlife Trust. Chris spoke of their work with these gentle, amazing creatures.

Robert Moor encouraged us to see the wonderful opportunity we have in our churchyards and how they can be tended (even while under Council management) to be Living Churchyards, a place of re-creation for human beings as well as flora and fauna.

A Reader from St Gluvias spoke on ‘Bible & Ecology’, asking us ‘What does the Bible have to say about it all?’ The audience concluded ‘quite a lot’; before Chris Jadav, Christian Aid’s regional co-ordinator for Cornwall, brought our relative insensitivity about climate change into sharp focus in her talk about the organisation’s work overseas; where climate change is hitting poor communities first and worst.

A Rocha was next. Never heard of it? Andrew Hill is a local advocate of the Christian organisation that started in Portugal and now has environmental projects running worldwide. ‘Actions speak louder than words’, which is why A Rocha would like to help you take action – whether that be changes in your lifestyle, getting involved in your local community, or maybe even helping out on an international scale.

Helena Nightingale spoke of the MANGRO project in Orissa, and its contribution to local economical and social resilience for the communities exposed to tsunamis and climate change.

Amy Walker from the charity Community Energy Plus is the Warm-up! Project worker funded for three years by a grant from the National Lottery to help bring out of fuel poverty the one in five people in Cornwall (18% in a 2011 CAB report) who suffer from it. They spend more than one tenth of the household income on energy—electricity, gas, oil — to maintain a reasonable standard of warmth.

Amy will be in Penryn at the Olive Branch Community Café on the third Monday of the month between 9am -12 for an energy advice drop-in session, starting 17th September.

Euan McPhee invited us to ‘Think LOAF’– Local, Organic, Animal-friendly, Fairtrade. LOAF is often presented as a ‘lifestyle option’— an individual’s choice. It is a choice, but this writer likens it to the choice offered by the Lord God to the People of God at the foot of Mount Sinai—‘I set before you a choice between life and death; choose life.’ [Deuteronomy 30.15]

This may seem melodramatic, or even an unintended pun—get Life; get LOAF! It’s not melodramatic, and think of it as a pun if you will. Unless we can rediscover local neighbourliness and justice for all creation (animal justice, climate justice, tax justice, social justice) in every aspect of our lives, then we will find ourselves under God’s eternal judgement.

Truro Green Walks is ‘all about building community resilience by reconnecting people and places’. We heard about this new walking group who meet on the third Sunday of every month at 2pm outside the Cathedral for the start of a two-hour walk along a different route each time.

Last, and certainly not least, Robin Sellwood spoke about Transition Truro. The worldwide Transition movement (for it is just that now) is a network of places where there’s a community-led process that helps that town or village or city or neighbourhood become stronger and happier.

We shall certainly need to recover these local attributes as we move into a world that will become very different from that of the past.

Photo by Evelyn Ross.


Two similar (but different) ‘eco-events’ are happening in Eco Event 15 Sept, Quarry Bank, Lanner and in Eco Event 22 Sept, Liskeard & N Petherwin.

For full details, e-mail Rosey Sanders in Diocesan House or call 01872 274351.