Radyr Methodist Church’s First Eco Fair

04 July 2023

radyr-eco-fair-2Radyr Methodist Church, near Cardiff, had its first eco fair on Saturday 3 June. Local products, local charities, swap stands and activities for children, were the recipe for a productive and well-received event.

The sun is blazing for the first eco fair organised by Radyr Methodist Church on Saturday 3 June. The stream of people has been ongoing all morning. Methodists, neighbours, passers-by of all ages have stopped to take a look, purchase a couple of items, take a plant or have a chat about the fair, the environment and ask for tips. The atmosphere is lively and welcoming. “This green fair, this eco fair, is an opportunity to share and provide a marketplace for organisations that are delivering on issues regarding the environment,” says Cath Taylor, the coordinator of the eco fair.

Outside are the plant swap and local beekeepers stands; inside, the clothes swap, a local ethical shop, No Waste Living, selling products good for the planet and a chance to refill your bottles  and a stand for litter pickers to name but a few. The aim is to “help keep our local environment and our local community clean and healthy, not just for our kids but for the wildlife that is affected,” adds Cath.

When the Revd Judith Holliman arrived in Radyr four years ago, she was delighted to meet so many like-minded people to talk and to reflect on the environment. “We wondered, what we can do to remind people of how easy it is to recycle. It's grown from that and the church happily embraced it,” says Judith.

Starting with refillable bottles, they are offering a plant swap and a clothes swap at the fair. The idea is to bring plants and clothes ahead of the fair, so they are sorted out. On the day, people can come and pick what they want. Donations are welcome but not mandatory. “We will take the remaining clothes to a charity down the road. In this system, everybody benefits and nothing goes into the landfill,” rejoices Judith.

The children were an important part of the fair.  They had a room where they could play and there were activities prepared by the team: there was a critter box with small insects from the garden, making hedgehogs out of  fir cones and birdfeeders. “We gave information about how long they live and what they do. It’s about taking care of God's creation,” adds Angela, a local preacher who participated in creating the children’s activities.

Only one of the dozen or so children who came along was known to the team. The stream of young people being slow but steady, the volunteers had time to dedicate to the children, guiding them in the activities and answering their questions. Ahead of the fair, children and the team had prepared a puppet display for the entrance to the church. The puppet show was a garden with bees, butterflies and characters who look at them. “It is to show everyone that gardens are beautiful and that we need to look after the creation that God's given us,” concludes Angela.