Eco church diaries: February 2021

Welcome to the first in our new series of monthly diaries from St Michael and St Bartholomew Church: an eco church in Bolton.

About the St Michael's eco church

St Michael’s Church, Great Lever, was consecrated on 29 September 1851. Now in it’s 170th year, it is a Grade II-listed building and part of the Seven Saints Team. It originally opened due to the influx of people moving to the area to work in the local mills after the industrial revolution and was designed by the architects Dixon and Brakespeare. The church stands in four acres of churchyard and originally cost £2,116 to build. In 1961, St Michael’s joined with St Bartholomew’s to form one church.  An elegant building, the interior has not changed too much although gifts of lanterns, a font and beautiful stained glass windows have been made over the years.

The aim of the Churchyard Conservation Project is for local people to enjoy St Michael’s - a country church in a town. It offers a small oasis for the soul. where the local community can appreciate the natural world, wildlife and tranquility as well as the beautiful architecture of the church. The Churchyard Conservation Project also aims to:

  • Increase awareness of the natural and built environment in the churchyard via an interactive Conservation Project noticeboard.
  • Provide opportunities to connect with the natural world, for example through  bat surveys and ground maintenance to create a quiet space for reflection.

St Michael’s is registered as an Eco Church with A Rocha to be a champion for reducing carbon emissions, reducing waste and caring for the environment.

Crocuses growing at St Michael's eco church in Bolton

Crocuses are emerging amongst the gravestones

February 2021 diary

With nesting season not far away our volunteers have fastened up a bird box two metres high and facing north-east, so that the birds don’t overheat in the sun.

We've seen sparrowhawks, great tits, blue tits, dunnocks and squirrels foraging for food amongst the trees in this very special wildlife corridor.

We were lucky enough to have an owl box made by ‘Build Bolton Well’ - a church-led DIY and construction group for people looking for work experience.

In spite of the particularly harsh winter, signs of spring are already emerging with a colourful carpet of naturalised crocuses and snowdrops amongst the gravestones, as well as early daffodils.

But not everyone has time to rest - busy bees are gathering and transporting pollen between the flowers to which they are attracted. Spring is on the way... it won’t be long!

St Michaels

St Michaels