My friend Jerry asked me to join him today, on a visit to Chepstow. Our mission was to look at the methodist church there: it has submitted for an eco-congregation award, and independent assessors were needed to see what they had been up to.
It's a town centre church, with a lot going on, including the busy Beacon Coffee Shop, where we met: it gives good heart to the community (the church has more than 200 members including quite a decent portion of younger ones - compared to many). The recently-installed PV panels will have made a big difference to the carbon footprint.
We had an interesting discussion with members of the green team - and Jerry and I had another interesting discussion, trying to come to some conclusions on the train journey back.
Before catching our train, we visited the great barn of an Anglican church, St Mary's Priory. How do you set about doing practical green things in a building of that scale? Perhaps the event at Southwark Cathedral tomorrow night would be of interest to them: "Thinking global, acting local" is the title for a discussion on how that ancient building can become more environmentally sustainable.
I didn't remember how beautiful that stretch of railway was, running along the West bank of the Severn. It must easily rank amongst Britain's most scenic routes.