First Eco Fair in Whalley Methodist Church

In the Lancashire Methodist District, the rural church of Whalley organised its first Eco Spring Fair on Saturday 11 May 2024. Two rooms were needed to host all the stands promoting a more sustainable way to shop with limited environmental impact.

16 May 2024

Blue sky, warm temperatures and plants on sale for the charity Whalley In Bloom all greeted the people who went to Whalley Methodist Church Eco Spring Fair. Drawn out by the great weather and the plants, passers-by started coming in before the Fair had officially started.


Inside the church, a panel on the wall indicated what there was to see: on the right, Eco Snake! food, drinks, Fairtrade stall, cakes, plants, a toy stall, lucky dip and more; on the left, rafts, face painting, tombola, pre-loved baby clothes and more.

‘The Fairtrade stall is mainly to raise awareness, the pre-loved baby clothes are often needed by young families and we have handpicked craft vendors with sustainable practices. I love gardening and we have a stall with vegetables we grew,’ explained Lindsay, the main organiser of the fair.


Whalley Methodist Church in the Lancashire District had already organised a heritage fair in the summer and a craft fair in winter, but the Eco Fair is bigger with volunteers from the church, craft vendors and local groups such as Whalley In Bloom, a voluntary organisation that undertakes gardening.

The Eco Fair brings the community together and starts building the church’s eco presence, notably through their Fairtrade stand. ‘We want to show people how you can buy these goods and that it is not much more expensive than what you would pay at the supermarket,’ said Dorothy, the church’s treasurer.

The Eco Fair is child friendly with a few stalls specifically for children including a free activity for them to paint pebbles with environmental slogans that will be used to create a snake in the garden and a tombola for soft toys that already have names to make them more personable.

Whalley Lancashire Eco spring fair
The peddles that children will paint to create an eco snake for the garden
The soft toy tombola
The soft toy tombola

An Eco Fair for an Eco Church

Organising the Eco Fair is part of the church’s eco journey with A Rocha UK that started in 2023. ‘I realised that we already had some eco practises in place such as twinning toilets, recycling and using Fairtrade products. I saw a Christmas Eco Fair and thought it would be great if we could do one ourselves,’ explained Lindsay.

Despite starting its eco journey recently, Whalley Methodist Church already has its silver award and is working towards the gold, notably through expanding its outreach by organising the Eco Fair, but also sharing good practices and offering a platform to those local charities working to protect the environment.

‘With climate change, we need to make more people aware of how to be carbon neutral or carbon negative and just be more eco-friendly,’ concluded Lindsay. The plants that did not find a home were either donated or will be planted in the wildflower garden of the church.