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The Church of England is facing calls to ban floral funeral arrangements that are deemed ‘harmful’ and ‘damaging’ the planet.
Its legislative body, the General Synod, has been asked to consider a ban on floral foam, which provides both water and support to cut flower arrangements, in favour of more eco-friendly options.
The foam is not biodegradable and is used to spell out names of the deceased at funerals, or is cut into elaborate shapes for weddings.
Christians are now being asked to reconsider their use of ‘damaging plastic-related products’ and use objects such as pebbles, sand, moss and flower frogs to mark occasions.
The call for a ban on floral foam was put forward as part of the Church’s target of achieving ‘net zero’ by 2030.
The Church of England is facing calls to ban floral funeral arrangements that are deemed ‘harmful’ and ‘damaging’ the planet (stock image)
In a written question to the General Synod, lay member Charles Houston suggested that there should be sanctions or repercussions for the use of floral foam and imported flowers in church buildings.
He also accused officials of ‘overlooking the widespread use of one of the most damaging plastic-related products in current usage’, the Telegraph reported.
Mr Houston asked Church authorities ‘to bring in an immediate ban on all floral foam in its buildings both in weekly flowers but particularly at weddings and funerals’.
The Archdeacon of Sunderland called the topic ‘interesting’ and one that has not yet been considered on a national level as individual parishes set policy. However, he said there was mounting popularity for churches to source alternatives to floral foam.
The foam is not biodegradable and is used to spell out names of the deceased at funerals, or is cut into elaborate shapes for weddings (stock image)
Eco Church, the Church of England’s movement of churches taking environmental action, is run by its partner organisation, A Rocha UK.
The proposed ban on floral foam has been forwarded for Eco Church, the Church of England’s movement of churches taking environmental action, is run by its partner organisation, A Rocha UK, for them to consider.
Helen Stephens, head of Eco Church, told the newspaper: ‘We are aware of the growing awareness and concerns around the environmental and health impacts of floral foam in particular and the sourcing of flowers more generally.
‘As indeed there are impacts across many other goods and services that we use in our church communities and day-to-day lives.’
Churches already taking action include St Bartholomew’s in Harpley, which promotes a ‘foam-free church and churchyard flower arrangements’.
Calstock Parish Council in Cornwall is also banning synthetic ornaments and flowers from cemeteries, insisting it is ‘everyone’s responsibility to do what we can in this climate emergency’.
Source: Daily Mail