St John the Baptist Church, Barnstaple

Vicar: The Revd Andy Dodwell

Church of England church, worship on Sundays, various activities for the community through the week, including “Mini Music” parents and toddlers group on Monday afternoons and “Cake Club” every Wednesday morning – tea, coffee and cake

Actions to date (to remove single-use plastics):

  • Day-to-day running, don't use any single-use plastics - no plastic cups, straws, drinks containers, food containers or cutlery.

  • Use 'proper' cutlery, plates, cups, etc., for the weekly coffee mornings, Sunday morning and other regular events.

  • Use paper bags to provide kids with bags of sweets/pop-corn, where previously they might have used plastic bags.

  • Happy to offer free drinking water refills and to sign up to the Refill Devon scheme.

  • The church does recycle through North Devon Council, all the usual stuff - plastic, cardboard, glass, metal.

Working on:

  • The main challenge is for the larger event (two fayres a year, other events and fund-raisers), where the church has in the past used plastic cups but will now look for alternatives for future events.

  • Have looked at bio-degradable cups in the past, but had difficulties sourcing them.

  • Do see as a challenge how to deal with crisp packets and chocolate wrappers for children's events (i.e. decanting smaller amounts from larger bags).

  • Church to encourage hirers of its hall to go Plastic Free (e.g. for people hiring for parties).

At St John the Baptist Church here in Newport we’re really proud to join the campaign to make Barnstaple, North Devon and our whole planet a plastic-free zone. We want to play our part and would encourage other churches and community groups to do what they can. It’s going to be difficult, but we need to do this to safeguard our natural environment for our children and generations to come. As Christians we believe that God made and loves the natural world, so why wouldn’t we want to look after it?