Eco Church and Eco Diocese
NET ZERO CARBON by 2030
In February 2030 General Synod passed a motion that the Church of England will commit to working towards net zero carbon by 2030.In line with this our Diocesan Synod agreed on 5th November 2020 to a similar proposal which is also contained within our environmental policy click here. This aligns with Local Authorities across the Diocese who have also agreed to this target and declared a climate emergency. So what will this mean?
Our Carbon Footprint
We need to work out what our current footprint is. We will look at this at Diocesan level and churches can also look at this individually. The national church will be defining net zero carbon and how to measure it following consultations in 2020 click here for more information. From early 2021 the carbon footprinting tool is part of the Parish Returns system. Each church needs to enter their energy use bills for the previous year. This will give a ‘base line’ indicator for energy use for heating and lighting your church buildings. It will also offer some helpful tips to reduce carbon emissions. For more information on energy footprint tool click here.
Where should you start? – Where do you go next?
The national church has produced some very helpful guidance to summarise how churches can reduce their energy use and associated carbon emissions. It offers a practical path to net zero carbon, setting out where most churches should start, and more advanced projects for churches who use more energy. For advice and guidance click here.
Hereford Diocese supports churches engaging with A Rocha scheme to promote caring for God’s earth
The gospel is good news for the whole of creation, as well as for human beings. We are called to a response to the biblical mandate to care for the earth and through this demonstrate Christian hope for God’s world. We want to demonstrate this across our Diocese to others, being beacons of hope for a brighter environmental future. A Rocha UK is part of an international Christian charity working for the protection and restoration of the natural world. Their Eco Church awards are designed to motivate and resource Christians and churches to make caring for God’s earth an integral part of their everyday work and witness, using a straightforward web-based award scheme.
Eco Church offer a free online survey, enabling churches to record what they are already doing to care for God’s earth, reflect on what further steps they want to take and then put it into action. Resources to help with each new step are provided along the way – for worship and teaching; management of church buildings and land; community and global engagement and lifestyle. As you record what you are doing this is shown on a gauge as you progress towards a bronze, silver or gold award certificate and award plaque.
It has been lovely to see how the church of St Leonard’s in Yarpole has benefitted from their participation in this scheme: From the Churchwarden “Our re-ordering of the church gave us an impetus to think about our environmental/carbon footprint – we wanted to build on that and Eco Church gave us the framework to do that, pulled it together, incidentally saving us some money on our bills”. From the Eco Church lead “We had such positive feedback from our community and pride that ‘our’ church is leading the way. Where else can we get the opportunity to show such leadership in the community?”,Yarpole are now proudly in receipt of the Silver Eco Church award and continuing to move forward with their learning and practical application of further developing their care for God’s creation.
Marches Christian Environmental Network (M-CENT) are also supporting and encouraging churches across the Diocese to join in with this scheme. Be inspired and show your care for God’s creation by signing up for Eco Church and inspire your local community too.