Fullarton Connexions is the latest development of Fullarton Parish Church (Church of Scotland), originally built in 1838 as a Chapel of Ease to serve the growing harbourside population in Irvine. The buildings have been extensively renovated and remodelled to serve both the church and the wider community. Such has been the success of the project that the church decided to buy a triangular patch of woodland to the north of the site for a possible future phase of development, but in the meantime for use as a car-park extension.
A member of the church volunteers with the Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT), who are the lead agency for the Irvine to Girvan Nectar Network, working with landowners to try to create a pollinator-friendly corridor for 50 miles down the Ayrshire coast. The church and SWT agreed to work together on a habitat creation project. The land had been partially cleared and surfaced for the car park, leaving 3 banks of earth around the plot, which rapidly became colonised with nettles, brambles and sticky-willy. The earth banks looked ideal for development to include bee hotels to provide suitable habitat for solitary bees and other insects, habitat which is in short supply around our towns.
SWT volunteers cleared some of the more aggressive plants from the banking and constructed two bee/bug hotel structures, which were subsequently filled by children from the church. The materials used came from local SWT reserves and from the site. An inventory was taken of the flowering plants growing in the area, including some sown earlier. More wildflower seeds were collected from around the parish and sown on the banks and surrounding area, again by the children.
The project draws favourable comments and interest from church members and visitors alike. The remaining woodland has been used as an outdoor classroom and is regarded as an asset to the congregation and a contribution to the Nectar Network. We hope it will raise awareness of the need for wild habitat and provoke thought about our place in creation and our obligations to be responsible stewards of what God has entrusted to us.
Many thanks to Fullarton Parish Church, Irvine for the use of one of their halls as a venue for the zero waste workshops and the Big Climate Conversation on the 19th of September. We were well looked after by their staff and had a busy afternoon at our workshops.
Here are a couple of photos of everyone sharing their views during the big climate conversation.
Fairlie Parish Church ran a very successful Bring and Buy sale on the 30th of May.
People outwith the church gave some delightful home made cards, dainty baskets for gifts and smaller ones containing a Ferrero Roche chocolate. There were donations of plants, books, marmalade, baking, pashminas, toiletries and jewellery. People were also wonderfully generous with donations of money. The final total raised was £198, which will be gratefully used to help support events in the region.
A selections of items for sale at the Fairlie Parish bring and buy sale
Fairlie first registered with us in 2002 and have done much work since then, for example in renovating their building to be more energy efficient, beach clean-ups, and community involvement. They have received three awards from us in recognition of this work. They also have a regular column in their newsletter highlighting environmental concerns which is a wonderful way to keep these issues fresh in the minds of the congregation.
On the 19th March for Earth Hour, Fairlie are organising a quiz, a Fairtrade stall and a demonstration on growing mini-salads on your window sill at 8pm in the Millennium Room at the church. The film ‘The Symphony of the Soil’ will also be shown.
If you’ve not got any plans to mark Earth Hour, why not pop along?