Heavens! Now Church of England gives its blessing to The Mail’s spring clean campaign and urges parishioners to get involved…while Chris Evans tells Virgin listeners to back the ‘great idea’
- Church of England said it would ‘encourage as many people as possible’ to join
- The Bishop of Dudley insisted he would ask churchgoers to do their bit
- It is hoped a staggering 500,000 volunteers will clear the country of litter
- Visit gbspringclean.org to sign up to the campaign today
The Bishop of Dudley, Graham Usher, of the Church’s environmental working group, insisted he would ask churchgoers to do their bit
The Church of England has given its blessing to the Mail’s Great British Spring Clean – and will ask parishioners to join the campaign.
It is hoped a staggering 500,000 volunteers will clear the country of litter between March 22 and April 23 in the campaign, which is run in partnership with Keep Britain Tidy.
The drive is one of the biggest environmental initiatives the country has ever seen.
The depressing sight of litter is an increasing threat to the natural world – and makes the country look like a rubbish tip.
But our army of caring readers is determined to fight the blight on our streets, in the countryside and on beaches and seas to make Britain beautiful again.
So far more than 19,250 people have signed up to join the battle after the campaign was launched by the Daily Mail on Saturday. Volunteers can pledge to pick up litter individually or take part in a group.
Pictured: pupils from Alsager Highfields Foundation Primary School in Cheshire on a litter-picking walk
Praise for the initiative has already come from Theresa May, Prince William, TV wildlife expert Sir David Attenborough and even the United Nations.
Now the Church of England – which has 16,000 congregations – said it would ‘encourage as many people as possible’ to sign up.
The Bishop of Dudley, Graham Usher, of the Church’s environmental working group, insisted he would ask churchgoers to do their bit.
He stressed: ‘I’m delighted to support the Great British Spring Clean and to commend it to church communities across the country.
As a society, we are having more conversations than ever about the damage plastic waste causes – and this is one of the ways communities can take an active stand in reversing one aspect of humanity’s negative impact on God’s creation.’
‘Churches have an enormous convening power and I encourage as many as possible to sign up to the initiative and encourage teams of litter heroes – as well as continuing to think creatively about vastly reducing our consumption of single-use plastics.’
Last year, 370,000 people took part in the Great British Spring Clean.
Evans! DJ Chris is backing us, too
Chris Evans said the campaign was ‘great’
Chris Evans yesterday threw his weight behind the Great British Spring Clean, telling listeners to join our fight.
The radio presenter said the campaign was ‘great’ and there was no reason everyone should not get involved.
He even suggested it could operate like the national Parkrun scheme, where people run together in a local park every weekend – but instead volunteers would collect litter.
The former BBC star, who now fronts the breakfast show on Virgin Radio, told his listeners: ‘The Mail launched this national litter pick on Saturday, which is a great idea. I think it should be every month.
‘Why would you not? Why would you not pick?
The Daily Mail has campaigned against the use of plastic for years – long before it was fashionable.
We helped to pile on pressure which led to the introduction of charges on single-use plastic bags and the ban on toxic plastic microbeads from cosmetics.
The Church of England last year highlighted the issue. It encouraged worshippers to give up single-use plastics during Lent.
It also suggested using a fountain pen instead of a plastic ballpoint and buying music electronically instead of compact discs.
The Roman Catholic Church has also focused on the danger. Last September, Pope Francis warned: ‘We cannot allow our seas and oceans to be littered by endless fields of floating plastic.’
Tory MP Victoria Prentis yesterday urged her constituents in Banbury and North Oxfordshire to get involved in the Great British Spring Clean.
She said: ‘I often return from a walk through the countryside with pockets full of litter to dispose of at home.’ She added: ‘I am looking forward to getting out to do my bit’.
Yesterday the Local Government Association, which represents 415 councils in England, 21 Welsh authorities, and seven national parks, endorsed the Great British Spring Clean.
Martin Tett, of the LGA, said: ‘[Councils] are taking a zero-tolerance approach to fly-tipping and this means using every power at their disposal to tackle those who think their laziness is more important than the environment in which they live.’
He added: ‘Cleaning parks and streets – and closing highways to collect litter – is costing taxpayers nearly £1billion each year.’