Genesis 2:15 “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it.”
From the very beginning, God was in a garden. And in this garden God placed humankind and commanded them to tend and nourish it. When we obey God we bring glory to his name and we discover what it is to be more human.

God's glory is displayed in his creation and the best we can offer is that creation in return.

In our church buildings, home of God and first home of God's people, we place God's creation, nurtured and tended by us as an act of true worship.


  • flowers enhance our worship and can be an expression of our attitude towards worship.
  • flowers display gifts and vocations.
  • flowers communicate the faith and act as a tool for mission, since they speak of life, beauty and the nurturing of the fragile.

SCF encourages the use of locally grown flowers and foliage:

  • grown without the use of harmful pesticides and herbicides
  • packaged without the use of unnecessary plastics
  • grown by people who are paid a liveable wage and are justly treated
  • never bleached or dyed
  • non-invasive species
  • never arranged in floral foam.

SCF embolden floral decorators to rediscover old and sustainable ways to arrange using such things such as chicken wire, flower frogs/pin frogs, and other natural structural supports that can be used.

We also commend the frequently overlooked thing that flowers really love - water!

Now is the time to bring floristry back to the way nature intended it.

Sustainable Church Flowers (SCF) is a movement within the Church of England - 'from the parish' - founded in 2019 in Harpley, Worcestershire.

It is a growing group of friends, passionate about sustainability in our churches, cathedrals and churchyards, who are gently campaigning for change.

Through a combination of an ambassador network, social media campaigns, workshops and good old fashioned evangelism SCF is encouraging change by providing information and support to churches and cathedrals around the United Kingdom and further afield.

SCF Founder, Candy Connolly is interviewed about Sustainable Church Flowers.

So how did the Sustainable Church Flowers Movement it start?
I am a Church warden in a small rural Church in Worcestershire. In 2015 my husband, Shane Connolly, raised the issue of flower management in our church. How sustainable where we?
After discussion and explanation, the church flower team agreed to stop using floral foam, and try also to use more flowers from their gardens. It was actually easier than many anticipated. In 2018 we applied for Eco-church status and demonstrated our eco-friendly management of flowers in our church. This undoubtedly assisted us in gaining Silver status. So we realized this could, and should, be taken further and tried to encourage neighbouring Churches to do the same thing.
In 2019 we launched Sustainable Church Flowers with a lecture and demonstration, given by Shane, in St Peter’s Church Martley for the WWRT (West Worcester Rural Team) including members of the Worcester Cathedral Guild. The movement was launched.

Who is involved?
Shane Connolly, co-founder, with Candy Connolly, Warden of St Bartholomew’s Church, Harpley, Worcestershire; Kate Hurst, a flower grower and designer (Camomilecornflowers) and Shelsley Church flower leader; Dot Millward, Harpley Church flower leader; Rev. Jen Denniston, our vicar; Father Benji Tyler, curate of Wantage, Oxfordshire; and Layreader Jill Smith.

What are the objectives?
To Glorify God sustainably and fulfil the 5th mission of the church to respect God’s creation.

Who is your audience?
The Church of England Churches, and other religious organisations

What are sustainable Church Flowers?
Flower decoration in churches and Churchyards that does not harm the planet, so with emphasis on no floral foam, and minimal carbon foot print i.e. local and seasonal flowers.
•What sort of information are you trying to communicate with your audience?
Source flowers from your own gardens, window boxes, churchyards and hedgerows and locate nearest growers from the national organization of Flowers from the Farm
Arrange in water, chicken wire and vessels, eliminate use of floral foam.
Make sure visiting florists are made aware of your policies, arrange in a sustainable way in your church, and are helped and educated too if needs be.

How do you communicate your messages/objectives to your audience? (platforms, events etc?)
Demonstrations, workshops
Web page with demonstration videos and facts and technique support
Instagram, facebook, twitter, web page,
SCF Ambassadors who offer workshop and demonstrations, Zoom Q&A with Shane Connolly including demos.
Recorded Conversation between Shane Connolly and Bishop Martin, Environmental bishop for Worcestershire in Sept 2021, circulated on WWRT network, but not very productive.
Church times article in June 2022
Lower Sapey website, local activities

What sort of feedback have you received?
MIXED and sometimes it can be rather an uphill struggle….
A 2017 Survey circulated in our local diocese was only returned by two out of 15 churches, church officials felt the message was too intrusive to established practices and did not want to offend existing flower arrangers or antagonize them.
We have found that organisers of churches are often more concerned with “fair trade” and perceived employment opportunities for underprivileged in African and South American Countries, than the planetary damage international flower growing and transport entails.
Organisers in the church are reluctant to tackle in-built resistance from flower old timers who have ”always done it this way”.
More recently there has been increasing interest from both Church and non-church flower enthusiasts
In 2020 Fr Benji Tyler joined our committee and produced a very inspiring booklet. We have since been building our national ambassador data base and spreading the word more directly. We have bi-annual Q&A with Shane Connolly for our Ambassadors.


Candy Connolly

SCF Co-founder and Lead

Kate Hurst

Co-founder &

Flowers From the Farm link

Shane Connolly

SCF Co-founder & Advisor

Shane Connolly & Co.

Dot Millward

SCF team member

Father Benji Tyler

Design lead and theological advisor