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?
Green Health Awards
Churches Challenged to dig for health
An award scheme has been launched to encourage churches to use their green spaces to help communities benefit from improved mental and physical wellbeing. Projects must promote mental and/or physical wellbeing, and take place on ground that belongs to a Christian church or organisation anywhere in the UK.
How to enter
The awards are open to all churches and other Christian organisations in the UK and the deadline for applications is 31 July 2018. The make-up of the judging panel, and details of the Green Health Live conference will be published shortly. For more information, and an entry form, visit the Church Times website.
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.
Eco-Schools is a global programme engaging millions of children, empowering them to drive change and improve their environmental awareness through a pupil-led seven-step self evaluation process.
Eco-Schools improves pupils’ skills, raises environmental awareness, improves the school environment and also creates financial savings for schools.
Over 18,000 schools are registered nationally and 1,200 schools currently hold the Eco-Schools Green Flag award.
Could your school take part? Take a look at the Eco-Schools website for more information, or chat to Lesley.
If your school is already an Eco-School – tell us about it!
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.
Last year, a few parishes in our diocese trialled a new liturgy, for wider use across the diocese this year:
Speak to Lesley to discuss how you could use the liturgy this Season of Creation.
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.