To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and to sustain and renew the life of the earth is our ‘Fifth Mark of Mission’.
Society’s excessive use of energy and natural resources is contributing to global warming, pollution, loss of biodiversity and resource depletion. Every living being on the planet is affected in some way, and it is usually those in the developing world who suffer most – from unjust trading to satisfy demand, polluted environments, and disruption to weather patterns leading to drought, flooding, famine and destruction of traditional communities.
With this in mind, the Church of England has accepted an obligation to set an example in the way it does business. It commits itself to assessing the environmental impact of all its activities, and to considering, within its trusteeship obligations, ways in which to minimise and mitigate any environmental damage they may cause.
New toolkits and resources with energy saving tips and guidance for the CofE’s churches, cathedrals, schools and clergy homes are now available at http://www.churchcare.co.uk/shrinking-the-footprint.
.These include downloadable action plans and checklists along with advice on considering the appropriate use of renewable energy in church buildings.
Our environment policy
The Diocese of Chelmsford’s policy and accompanying booklet for parishes offer practical guidance on reducing the damaging aspects of our impact on the environment and the opportunity to demonstrate we are ready to take the practical steps required to safeguard God’s creation.
The policy can be downloaded here:
Chelmsford Diocesan Synod passed a major six-point Resolution on the Environment on 5 June 2010. The Resolution "asks the Diocese and all parishes to produce annual carbon and energy reports by 2016; for all church buildings to have carbon footprints calculated and recommendations made by 2014; for parish churchyards to be actively regarded as part of our environmental stewardship; and for practical support to be given to the Church of England's Climate Justice Fund as an expression of partnership with Christians in parts of the world faced with the early effects of climate change."
Sharing God’s planet
The Church of England’s vision for a sustainable future is set out in:
- Sharing God's Planet - a Christian vision for a sustainable future. Sharing God's Planet is available from the Bookshop price £5.99.
- How many lightbulbs does it take to change a Christian? Available from the Bookshop.
- Tearfund’s For Tomorrow Too booklet, living responsibly in a world of climate change, available free from Tearfund by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, tel 0845 355 8355
- Parish Pumps, www.conservationfoundation.co.uk
Reducing carbon dioxide (CO2)
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a major contributor to global warming. To combat this it is estimated that atmospheric concentrations need to be reduced to one-and-a-half times those of the pre-Industrial Age, which will mean reducing emissions by between 60% and 90% by 2050.
There are ways of calculating how much carbon you use and more importantly reducing your consumption.
Shrinking the Footprint
General Synod has voted overwhelmingly to develop the Church of England’s Shrinking the Footprint campaign to reduce the CO2 emissions of church members and church buildings.
A Rocha’s Climate Stewards campaign can help you prevent climate change when you make a voluntary payment to reverse the damage caused by your unavoidable travel.
Footprint Friends - Giving young people a say on the environment including climate change.
Walk around audit
Measuring our Footprint – The C of E National Energy Audit
- Eco-congregation - www.ecocongregation.org
- Operation Noah - www.operationnoah.org
- Shrinking the Footprint - http://www.churchcare.co.uk/shrinking-the-footprint
For more information please contact Rev Andrew Fordyce
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