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 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.
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.
Giving young people insights on the environment including climate change is important. Teaching resources can be found through the National Association for Environmental Education.
Walk around audit
Measuring our Footprint – The C of E National Energy Audit
Resource Guide and Helpful links
Resources and information about the environment are changing constantly, so this resource is a guide only, and does not set out to be comprehensive. It provides introductory material about the organisations mentioned on the Environment webpage, and to others which could be useful starting points for information on a range of environmental concerns. However, the Diocese of Chelmsford does not endorse these organisations and is not responsible for their information content. If links are not working, please do not contact the Diocese Office, we are not responsible for external organisations websites.
Organisations concerned with climate change, nature conservation and the environment
Alliance of Religions and Conservation
ARC is a secular body, founded by HRH Prince Philip, which helps the world’s major faiths develop environmental programmes.
An international network of environmental organisations with a Christian ethos.
Baptist Missionary Society World Vision
BMS World Vision is a Christian mission organisation working in around 30 countries. Its projects assist marginalised people in some of the world’s most fragile environments.
Caring for God’s Acre
A non-religious charity dedicated to conserving and celebrating burial grounds.
Christian Aid is a registered charity which is committed to ending poverty throughout the world. Its climate change campaign aims to restore God’s earth. In 2017 Christian Aid launched its Big Shift campaign in the UK to persuade banks to fund measures for a cleaner, safer planet. Its Big Shift International has a vision for all people to have access to clean and affordable renewable energy.
Churches Together in Britain and Ireland
Churches Together provides resources for Creation Time teaching and worship. The website includes additional links to material on global warming.
The Climate Stewards website provides a carbon footprint calculator, and a mechanism for making financial contributions to support carbon reducing projects in Ghana, Kenya and Mexico.
Climates Stewards is a registered charity, and part of the A Rocha network.
A registered charity committed to transforming lives. Its projects include developing rainwater harvesting in overseas rural communities.
Long-standing Environmental Affairs platform published by the Resurgence Trust.
Ecumenical programme helping churches make the link between environmental issues and faith. In England and Wales this links to A Rocha’s Eco Church website.
Part of registered charity Keep Britain Tidy aiming to empower children and young adults to improve the environment.
Subscription service providing intelligence for environmental professionals and environmental practice guides
Website for the Government’s Environment Agency
Essex Biodiversity Project
A project of the Essex Wildlife Trust for professionals and amateurs concerned with nature conservation.
Essex Wildlife Trust
Charity managing nature reserves, nature parks and visitor centres in Essex.
Charity which sets social, economic and environmental standards for companies and farmers to provide decent working conditions and fair trade in developing countries.
Federation of City Farms & Community Gardens
Charity encouraging food production in local communities.
An online food miles calculator encouraging the purchase of locally sourced foods.
F3 is a cooperative interest company of advisors, social entrepreneurs and practitioners developing solutions for local and sustainable food systems.
Green Christian is the trading name of Christian Ecology. It aims to share Christian insights with the green movement.
Intergovernmental panel on climate change
Established by the United Nations to provide scientific view on climate change and potential environmental and socio-economic impacts.
John Ray Initiative
An educational charity bringing together scientific and Christian understandings of the environment.
Joint Nature Conservation Committee
A public body which advises the UK Government on nature conservation, including biodiversity and sustaining natural systems.
London Wildlife Trust
Charity dedicated to protecting London’s wildlife and wild spaces.
Marine Conservation Society
Charity campaigning to conserve the marine environment.
A Christian charity working with the Church to inspire action on climate change.
Rural Community Council of Essex
An independent charity working to help rural communities achieve a thriving and sustainable future.
Sustainable Food Trust
A charity working to accelerate the transition to more sustainable and farming systems to nourish the health of people and the planet.
Tearfund is a registered charity which works in over 50 of the world’s poorest countries. It campaigns for access to local solar power schemes in areas where the lack of electricity contributes to poverty.
Charity providing hub for communities to come together to reimagine and rebuild connections in their localities through civic engagement.
What Can You Do?
Campaigning organisation promoting sustainability through the United Nations Minimum Development Goals. Provides links to regular online newsletter and apps to motivate personal commitment.
Federation of wildlife trusts within the UK.
Charity promoting woodland conservation on more than 1,000 sites across the UK.
United Kingdom Butterfly Monitoring Scheme
A collaboration between Butterfly Conservation, the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, the British Trust for Ornithology and other partners publishing annual data on insect populations.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Commercial specialist in water butts and compost bins
Guide to reusing and recycling materials in the UK
Guide to recycling wide range of materials and products by post code.
Charity providing advice on recycling household items.
Every Last Drop
Cartoon giving information on water usage. Made in partnership with Waterwise.
Website of Government’s Environment Agency responsible for wide range of functions and controls
An organisation working to provide clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene around the world.
Guide to the UK water industry provided by water companies.
Organisation promoting water efficiency in the UK and advising Non-Governmental Organisations.
Waste and recycling
Details of Government action on waste and recycling.
Waste and recycling statistics
Source of UK Government statistics
Car Plus, Bike Plus
A charity working for accessible shared transport including car clubs.
A free online database for offering or requiring lifts.
A website serving corporate car sharing schemes.
Registered charity dedicated to making cycling and walking easier and safer.
Energy reduction, carbon reduction, renewables, green tariffs
Carbon Neutral provides a protocol for achieving carbon neutrality, which is updated annually. The protocol provides the framework for achieving its CarbonNeutral certification. Carbon Neutral is a company which works with over 350 business clients around the globe.
Carbon Trust is an independent, private, limited by guarantee company with private and public sector clients around the globe. It provides services and bespoke solution for a sustainable low carbon economy.
Churchcare is the Cathedral and Church Buildings
Division of the Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England. The site has details of the Church of England’s national environmental programme including guidance notes on energy efficiency, renewable energy and resources for use in parishes.
Church in Wales
The Church in Wales website provides Simple Steps to Greening Your Church, and links to other discussion documents and webpages addressing climate change and treading lightly on the earth.
Diocese of London
The Church of England Diocese of London has adopted Route 2050 as a long-term plan to reduce the carbon footprint in all its buildings – from St Paul’s Cathedral to church schools and houses. The website gives details and an analysis of progress.
Energy Saving Trust
The energy Saving Trust works with businesses seeking a sustainable, energy efficient future.
Green Deal: energy saving for your home
This is the UK Government’s advice page offering information on energy saving and links to commercial organisations operating its Green Deal Scheme.
Parish Buying is the Church of England scheme putting parishes in touch with vetted suppliers with competitive prices for a wide range of products and service, many of which relate to energy saving, energy supply and green technologies.
Green energy suppliers and technology solutions
The Green Energy market is now mainstream, with new suppliers frequently entering the market and competing on tariffs and other incentives. The suppliers listed below cannot therefore be an exhaustive resource. Providers offer details of tariffs online, which consumers should consider when selecting green energy suppliers.
2buy2.com is a membership organisation which uses its bulk purchasing power to make savings on purchases and services for its members.
Energy supplier with Green Pioneer tariff.
Generator and supplier of green energy.
The Energys Group works across public and private sectors with a range of energy saving technologies including retrofitting LED lighting and boiler controls.
An ethical shopping guide to gas and electricity suppliers.
A provider of UK generated renewable power, both gas and electricity.
Green Energy UK
A supplier of electricity and gas from certified renewable resources.
A price comparison website which includes comparison of green energy suppliers.
Pure Planet Ltd
A supplier of renewable electricity and carbon offset natural gas.
A price comparison website for various products and services such as the supply of gas and electricity, including some green energy companies.