Churches across the country are engaging in environmental issues at a number of levels. People are changing the way they live to reduce the carbon footprint. Local community projects are being initiated to care for the Earth. Churches are installing the latest green technology to provide low carbon and energy efficient buildings. Campaign groups are calling on governments to take global action to slow climate change and ensure those hardest hit by the changing climate are supported.
What can I do?
Me and my family – How could you encourage the ecology of your garden and neighbourhood? Could you reduce the carbon footprint of your household? Did you know that the four things that individuals can change to make the most impact on their carbon footprint are:
1. Space heating
2. Road travel
3. Air travel
4. Water heating
My church and community – How does your church’s mission embody environment and climate change issues? How could you make your church building energy efficient? Take a look at some of the initiatives below.
My world and global neighbours – How could you lobby your MP for global action on climate change? Could your church support the Climate Justice Fund?
A programme of environmental action and awareness-raising by A Rocha UK in partnership with The Church of England, The Methodist Church, Tearfund and Christian Aid. Eco Church aims to equip congregations to care for creation and integrate environmental care throughout their church life in five key areas: worship and teaching; management of buildings and land; community and global engagement; the personal lifestyle of church members.
To celebrate Eco Church's first birthday churches across England and Wales will be holding a ‘Green Communion’ as part of their worship services on Sunday 5 February – a unique opportunity to celebrate together the biblical truth that the saving work of Christ is for all creation.
To take part simply use a green communion cloth or frontal on the communion table/altar you can also use the liturgical resources available free of charge on the Eco Church website.
Please let us know if you to take part!
Is Your Church Floodlit?
If so, you can save money and reduce your carbon footprint by switching to LED lights. This has a very short payback period because LED lights will save you 80% of the electricity that you currently spend, giving you money to spend in other areas of church life.
If you don’t have the finances or know-how to make this change, there are not-for-profit companies that will help you with the upfront expertise and capital, and you can pay them back using the savings you make. Contact Lesley for more information or advice.
Did you know that we have a season called Creationtide? It stretches from 1 September, which is the first day of the Orthodox calendar and the day of prayer for the care of creation, to the feast of St Francis on 4 October.
During these five weeks, Christians worldwide will be praying for creation and taking action to respond to the global environmental crisis.
A few parishes in our diocese are trialling a new liturgy, for wider use across the diocese next year:
You can get involved in your parish by visiting the Season of Creation website:
Creationtide started in the Orthodox Church in 1989 and has been supported by a growing number of churches across Europe since then. It has the backing of all main Church groups, including the Church of England and the member churches of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland.
Incredible Edible is a food growing movement, started in Todmorden in West Yorkshire in 2007. People started growing food that was free for all to take and it transformed their community. There are now more than 120 Incredible Edible groups in the UK, more than 500 in France and others across the world - Hale is next! Farnham Town Council are going to provide three planters, one of which will be in the grounds of St Mark’s Church, Hale. Locals will grow vegetables and fruit in them that will be free for all.
Could you start something similar in your parish or community?
Speakers, facilitators and courses
Does your church or group want to explore ways to engage with environmental issues? How could you include the environment in the life and mission of your church? We may be able to help you find speakers, facilitators and resources to help you think through the options. Contact Lesley Crawley for more information.
Keep in touch!
We love to share stories of hope from around the diocese, so once you have got underway, please send your stories and photos of what you are doing to make a difference, or add your comments in the box at the bottom of the page.