Caring for earth and children: Cornwall’s Shoe Swap

The Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Methodist District started a new initiative last September to help the environment: a Shoe Swap with children's shoes. A first and easy step to care for the community and the environment.

13 June 2024

More generally, the idea of recycling and repurposing is not new in the area where a dedicated team sorts, cleans and packages clothing and shoes for people in need. An advantage of this initiative is that any church could have a small table on which they could place a range of children's shoes.

“The concept is that as children outgrow shoes a parent can come in, drop off a current size pair and upgrade to a larger one,” explains Andrew Geake, the Methodist Church’s environment and climate change advocate in the Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Methodist District.

Ideally, the outgrown shoes can be brought back, but anyone who needs the pair of shoes won’t be asked to swap. “We're starting small with the concept because then it's something that any chapel should be able to undertake with minimum labour and yet still serve the local community,” adds Andrew.

Inspired by the Grace Project in St. Patrick's Church in Weybridge, the Shoe Swap requires minimal organisation and supervision and can be started anywhere. The first table as a Synod was a success and the team hopes that many churches in Cornwall will carry on the initiative and build on it.