The national Church of England’s Environment Programme exists to enable the whole Church to address climate change — in faith, practice and mission.
This includes tackling our own carbon emissions and wider work. In October 2020, the Diocese of Guildford’s Diocesan Synod passed a motion on Net Zero Carbon Emissions to accept the General Synod Motion on becoming Net Zero by 2030.
Below you’ll find ideas, practical resources, links and guidance to support you in working towards this goal, and for growing your church’s care and concern for God’s creation
Did you know that 70% of a parish’s carbon footprint will be their heating? Before you start to think of solar panels or any other investments, it’s vital to look at low carbon heating options first. This is how we will achieve Net Zero as a diocese.
As the requirements of every building are different, it’s vital to get expert, impartial advice. This can be achieved through paying for an Energy Audit for your buildings, and these can be purchased at a reduced price from Parish Buying.
Visit the Church of England’s brilliant web page on heating churches and what changes you can begin to make to reduce carbon emissions.
Whilst LED lighting is now seen as the most efficient and effective light source, it is the extent of use and the management of lighting that determines the energy utilisation and the impact on carbon use. Take time to watch this webinar on the national Church of England’s Environment Programme to learn more.
This webinar from the national Church of England’s Environment Programme provides an introduction to solar PV panel technology, its applications, usage and on-going benefits that accrue to system owners.
The best place to look choose your green tariff is the Big Clean Switch comparison website.
The best carbon calculator on the web is 360carbon.org, free to use, and tailored to churches. We think this is perfect for those parishes that have achieved Bronze Eco Church or higher. If you are just setting out on your Eco journey, this might seem daunting, so come back to it when you are a bit further along.
We strongly advocate that parishes concentrate on REDUCING CARBON rather than paying to off-set it.
Taking actions to off-set, however, such as installing renewable energy sources and planting trees, are strongly welcomed, and 360 carbon will calculate the off-set for you. If you choose to go down the path of off-setting, we ONLY recommend Climate Stewards as a responsible off-setting organisation.
Caring for God’s Acre is great website to explore resources and get involved in all kinds of initiatives to help manage church land and cultivate it for increasing biodiversity. Here are some of the really key pages to look at:
- Love your burial ground week - Saturday 3rd to Sunday 11th of June 2023.
- Caring for God’s Acre free resources - including the FREE starter pack which they can post you.
- Grass cutting advice sheet
- Second advice sheet on long grass
- Botanical Companion which has a list of the species most often found in churchyards
- Information sheet on the Five Steps for good churchyard management
These are some other helpful websites for land management:
- Bats in Churches project
- The CRES (Christian Rural & Environmental Studies) courses
- Scythe Association
- The Church of England’s Biodiversity page and Trees page
Who to contact
The Diocese of Guildford has a Net Zero Working Group.
For all enquiries contact the Diocesan Team.