Environment News & Events
Environment & Social Justice Calendar 2022
COP27 – Ways in which your church can be involved
Click on the link for a round-up of events and actions that may be of interest, some of which have been sent through by the Church of England:
COP27 Actions and Events for Churches
Update – October 2022
On 15 October St Albans joined a growing number of Church of England Dioceses by committing to divest from fossil fuel companies. The synod motion has sent a strong message on the carbon emissions which are the greatest cause of climate change ahead of the international COP27 climate talks in November and reaffirms the Diocese’s commitment to the Church of England’s target of reaching Net Zero Carbon by 2030, placing sustainability, social justice and the environment at the heart of its investment policies.
Motion passed at Diocesan Synod, Saturday 15th October 2022:
“That this Synod requests the St Albans Diocesan Board of Finance to commit to divest from any current
investments in fossil fuels and to commit to no future investment of funds in fossil fuel
companies in line with the Church of England national policy.
That this Synod further requests the St Albans Diocesan Board of Finance to consider with those
companies investing on behalf of the Diocese how to:
a) engage critically on climate change in respect of the full range of investments;
b) implement an approach to move the entire diocesan investment portfolio to be net zero carbon;
c) pursue investment in accordance with Diocesan policies on social justice, sustainability, and
the environment, for example in affordable homes, renewable energy, or forestry.”
News of some interesting and useful events in the next month:
Tuesday 15th March: The Beautiful Burial Ground Conference, online, 10am-5.15pm. An inspiring day conference for anyone interested in discovering how to tranform burial grounds into havens for people, wildlife and heritage. Opening speaker Chris Baines is followed by a full programme of seminars and workshops on a variety of topics including wild flowers in the churchyard, bats and investigating and recording monuments. All sessions will be recorded and available for 7 days after the event to those who have booked for the conference. The Beautiful Burial Ground Conference (zoom.us). You can download a poster for this event here.
Wednesday 16th March, 7pm: Woodland Trust webinar on How to save a tree – become a campaigner for significant trees and woodlands within your community Webinar Registration – Zoom The Woodland Trust website is an excellent source of information about woodlands, including native trees suitable for planting, campaigns to plant trees and citizen science projects to join https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk Please contact the organisers of the events directly for further information.
Monday 4th April: deadline to apply for community grants from Grow Wild. Do you have an idea for a community project to transform a local space? Grow Wild is offering grants for urban transformation projects involving community groups. Apply by Monday 4th April. Community Grants | Grow Wild | Kew
Finally, amidst so much serious and alarming news during the past two weeks, some in your congregations may have missed the publication of the IPCC report on February 28th. The Centre for Alternative Technology has a very helpful summary on its website: Latest IPCC Report is a stark warning of the cost of inaction on the climate – Centre for Alternative Technology (cat.org.uk)
Please keep us in touch with news of your environment activities email@example.com
Read Rachel’s latest newsletter, including:
- Clapham Parish Church achieve their Bronze Eco Church Award
- Post COP Action
Useful Resources for Churches (produced April 2021)
From the Church of England Environment Programme, find HERE a very helpful list of links to websites, recorded webinars, case studies and other resources on a variety of key environmental topics.
The attached list of videos (prepared January 2021), is offered here for your use.
Latest Environment News from Rachel HERE – items include:
- St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Flitwick achieve their Bronze Eco Church Award
- Tree and hedge planting grants in central Bedfordshire. As a way of taking action on climate change, churches interested in planting trees and/or hedges can apply for a Community grant from Central Bedfordshire Council.
- ‘Show the Love’ Campaign 1 – 21 February 2021. Annual campaign to show love for the environment by speaking out for climate action – Show the Love 2021 Resources
- Climate Sunday 2020. Churches are encouraged to get involved in action on the environment in the months leading up to the climate conference in November, COP26 – Climate Sunday Resources
- First Steps for Churches towards Net Zero. A new checklist has been created to help churches work through the advice and guidance – ‘Practical Path to Net Zero‘, from the Church of England Environment team.
- Fairtrade Fortnight – 22 Feb – 7 March 2021 – ‘Choose the World You Want‘
- St Albans Cathedral Lent Course 2021 – ‘Treading Lightly on God’s Earth’ . On-line course, 24 Feb – 24 March, exploring our relationship to the environment in the light of scripture, tradition, and the pressing needs of the climate crisis. The Cathedral will publish further details of this course shortly.
October 2020 – St Albans becomes an Eco Diocese
Following important debate at Diocesan Synod on Saturday 17th October 2020, two key environment motions were passed overwhelmingly:
- Our Diocese will register to become an Eco Diocese and seek to achieve Bronze award level across its own operations by the end of 2022.
- A request will also be sent to General Synod to debate a motion requesting all dioceses to register as Eco Dioceses – an important step in working towards the Church of England’s target of achieving net zero by 2030.
Find out more here about the Eco Church and Eco Diocese programmes .
Also: Resources now available from the online Eco Church Conference, ‘Working Together to Net Zero’ (held Saturday 10 Oct 2020)
We were delighted at the response to the innovative online Eco Church Conference ‘Working Together to Net Zero’, hosted by our Diocese. Having sold out at 300 tickets, a further 7,447 participants joined the conference via the conference facebook page, from as far away as British Columbia, Uganda and Singapore. Although the event had originally been planned as a traditional conference based at All Saints’ Church, Leighton Buzzard, the move to an online-only format enabled us to reach a far wider audience. We also raised £2000 for A Rocha UK to support their environmental work, including the Eco church scheme.
We now have recordings of all the sessions and some inspiring videos forming a resource bank – you can access all this content either on the Eco Church webpage or on the conference facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ecochurchcon. We would like to keep the facebook page for as long as it is useful, as a means of exchanging ideas and encouragement for churches working on the Eco church programme. Please me send any photos, news or useful information that you would like to share: Email Rachel Johnston DEO
Resources for Outdoor Worship
A Church of England website page provides guidance and resources for developing Worship of all kinds Outdoors . Ranging from prayers, graces and meditations for individuals to resources for larger (socially distanced) gatherings, there is an impressive range of materials and examples from churches around the country to provide inspiration for worship (together with up-to-date information on the current situation regarding Covid19).
You can find:
- Resources for worship and prayer
- Forest church
- Resources linked to different times of year or special days
- Educational activities provided free on the websites of organisations connected with nature
- Resources for understanding the social and historical significance of churchyards and their memorials
‘If your church has resources or experience of worship outdoors to share, please email them to me – Rachel, Environment Officer – we may be able to include them on this website.’