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St Anne’s Garden of Bethlehem – all about environmental awareness

THE St Anne’s Church in Bukit Mertajam has been a leading agent of green initiatives, and one that deserves special mention there is the Garden of Bethlehem.

Set up in 2017 under the Creation Justice Ministry (CJM), Garden of Bethlehem was initiated to promote care for the common home (nature) and to spread environmental awareness not only for parishioners but also for those who have a special corner for green environments.

The main objective of CJM is to initiate community-based activities and to encourage both, church members and general public, to participate in it.

CJM coordinator Vincent Yong, 55, who is also the immediate caretaker of the garden, said the garden also has an urban farm producing papayas, bananas, sweet potatoes, ‘ulam’ and many others.

“We (CJM) also incorporate an urban farm mainly to benefit parishioners and residents living in the neighbourhood.

“They are welcome to visit the garden and collect seeds of the various produce that the garden has.

“Production wise, we don’t run the garden as a big scale farm. It is more of like a resource centre in which we try and help distribute the produce to church members and outsiders who wish to have it,” Yong said during an interview session with Buletin Mutiara.

Yong, who is also the administrative officer in the church, said the church is determined to continue with its efforts to support the Penang2030 vision ‘A Family-Focused Green and Smart State that Inspires the Nation’.

“Various efforts taken by the Penang government to instil green initiatives throughout the state are truly commendable, and it certainly is very inspiring for everyone to participate in it,” he added.

According to Yong, St Anne’s is the first church in the Diocese of Penang to come up with such an initiative.

“While the idea of having a garden and an urban farm in the church premises may sound super cool, it clearly would not have been possible without the helping hand of generous church members and volunteers afar and near,” he added.

He also said through the generous donations from church members and outsiders, the garden has been well maintained.

The garden is located behind the parish office.

CJM, Yong said, is more than just organising activities relating to gardening and urban farming.

“Gardening is just a small portion among the many initiatives that we have lined up under CJM.


THE St Anne’s Church in Bukit Mertajam has been a leading agent of green initiatives, and one that deserves special mention there is the Garden of Bethlehem.

Set up in 2017 under the Creation Justice Ministry (CJM), Garden of Bethlehem was initiated to promote care for the common home (nature) and to spread environmental awareness not only for parishioners but also for those who have a special corner for green environments.

The main objective of CJM is to initiate community-based activities and to encourage both, church members and general public, to participate in it.

CJM coordinator Vincent Yong, 55, who is also the immediate caretaker of the garden, said the garden also has an urban farm producing papayas, bananas, sweet potatoes, ‘ulam’ and many others.

An overview of the beautiful Garden of Bethlehem

“We (CJM) also incorporate an urban farm mainly to benefit parishioners and residents living in the neighbourhood.

“They are welcome to visit the garden and collect seeds of the various produce that the garden has.

“Production wise, we don’t run the garden as a big scale farm. It is more of like a resource centre in which we try and help distribute the produce to church members and outsiders who wish to have it,” Yong said during an interview session with Buletin Mutiara.

Yong, who is also the administrative officer in the church, said the church is determined to continue with its efforts to support the Penang2030 vision ‘A Family-Focused Green and Smart State that Inspires the Nation’.

“Various efforts taken by the Penang government to instil green initiatives throughout the state are truly commendable, and it certainly is very inspiring for everyone to participate in it,” he added.

According to Yong, St Anne’s is the first church in the Diocese of Penang to come up with such an initiative.

Vincent briefing visitors on a particular plant during a tour at the garden

“While the idea of having a garden and an urban farm in the church premises may sound super cool, it clearly would not have been possible without the helping hand of generous church members and volunteers afar and near,” he added.

He also said through the generous donations from church members and outsiders, the garden has been well maintained.

The garden is located behind the parish office.

CJM, Yong said, is more than just organising activities relating to gardening and urban farming.

“Gardening is just a small portion among the many initiatives that we have lined up under CJM.

“For instance, we are planning of setting up an evacuation centre. In the event of any natural disasters, we will tap into the existing facilities to accommodate those affected and in need of shelter.

“At the moment, we are working closely with the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) and Malaysia Civil Defence Force (APM),” Yong added. – by Kevin Vimal, Buletin Mutiara


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