There are many environmental projects going on throughout the year in our diocese. Perhaps you might be interested in getting involved in one local to you, or even starting a new project within your local church or community.
Carbon Free 2030
In response to the climate crisis, the Church of England has committed to becoming entirely carbon neutral by 2030. This is an ambitious target and includes all church buildings, offices, church halls, Voluntary Aided church schools, and lots more besides!
Use the links below to find links to our diocesan plan, plus useful tools for parishes and clergy in assessing and reducing carbon consumption.
Parish Return: Energy Footprint Tool
In addition to the normal annual return that parishes are required to make, there is now an extra section which collects data on churches’ energy usage. This information is vital if the diocese is going to be able, both, to know the current level of carbon emissions we collectively produce through our activities, and to measure our progress over the next decade.
The return is very quick and easy to complete. All you will need is your church’s utility bills from the last year and a figure for your total floorspace (this can be found in your last Quinquennial Report).
NB You will need to login to the Church of England parish returns website to access the tool. Your login details will probably be held by the person who does statistics and finance returrns for your parish. If you don't have a login, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request one.
Carbon Offsetting Clergy Mileage
Climate Stewards are a Christian organisation who provide sustainable carbon offsetting for all carbon output that cannot be mitigated otherwise.
We are encouraging churches to offset work-based mileage accrued by clergy and church workers in the course of their duties. Climate Stewards have a calculation page where you can enter the size of your car and the amount of mileage, then it will give you a cost to offset. Even with clergy who do 500 miles a month of business mileage, the annual yearly cost to offset is under £50!
Getting to net zero carbon emissions in ten years can sound a bit like pie in the sky. After all, most churches have oil or gas fired boilers and no insulation! However, if you are worried that this will cost a fortune, don’t worry. The aim is for us to do what we can, not what we can’t, and we need to be realistic about what we can afford, and what is good value in environmental terms.
The Church of England have produced a guide for churches on how to achieve net zero, which can be accessed here
For individual guidance, please contact the Diocesan Environmental Officer, Revd James Gilder.
A great way for churches to become more environmentally sustainable is through the Eco Church Award.
Thousands of churches have joined up to this scheme, including lots from Chelmsford Diocese. To become an Eco Church, a church needs to assess its current ecological credentials using the Eco Church questionnaire, then decide on its own action plan, to reach the Bronze, Silver and Gold awards.
It provides a fun and holistic way at looking at a church’s environmental footprint, and brings people together in the search for ways to make churches environmental hubs.
You can find some videos which explain how some of our parishes have gone about addressing the challenges set by Eco Church on the Cathedral environmental page, ‘Greening the Church’.
If you’re on Facebook, why not also join our Greening the Church page for regular updates.