Environment News & Events
Environment & Social Justice Calendar 2022
Update – March 2022
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
Update – December 2021
Read Rachel’s latest newsletter, including:
- Clapham Parish Church achieve their Bronze Eco Church Award
- Post COP Action
News September 2021
An update from Rachel Johnston, including the inspiring video for this Creationtide season – read in full here: Environment News Sept ’21
Bulletin – 19 May 2021
Latest Bulletin here including:
- St Mary’s, Baldock achieve their Bronze Eco Church Award
- Recording of Church of England COP26 Briefing
- Churches Count on Nature 2021 5 – 13 June 2021
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.
Environment News – 17 March Resources Bulletin
Update Newsletter received from Rachel and included in the above dated Resources Bulletin – full version HERE – items included:
- Bishop of Norwich, Graham Usher, appointed new Lead Bishop for the Environment (following retirement of the Bishop of Salisbury, Nicholas Holtam)
- ‘Making Peace with Nature‘ new report issued by United Nations Environment Programme on 18 February 2021
- A Rocha fifth anniversary celebration of Eco Church
- Climate Sunday – worship & resources
- Ecumenical project between A Rocha, the Church of England and Caring for God’s Acre: ‘Churches Count on Nature 2021‘ (5-13 June 2021)
- Webinars of interest:
- 16 March – ‘To Replace or Not Replace’
- 23 March – ‘Solar PV Panels’
- 24 March – Nature & Climate (A Rocha)
- 27 March – Compost Toilets live online (CAT course)
February 2021 – Bronze Eco Church Awards
CONGRATULATIONS to St Mary Magdalene, Barkway (Michelle Marple, Churchwarden, pictured with Bronze Award Certificate) and St John’s, Harpenden (aeriel view photo courtesy of Henry Poppleton) on achieving their Bronze Eco church award this month, an important milestone on their journey to net zero as part of their Christian witness to God’s hope for the world.
Details of how parishes can enrol for this free scheme here: ECO CHURCH
Latest News – 19 February 2021
Environment News from Rachel – in full – HERE – items include:
- Lent Challenges – from The Green Anglican Network
- 40 Devotions on creation – ‘Planting seeds of hope‘
- Fairtrade Fortnight (22 Feb – 7 March 2021) – ‘Climate Fairtrade and You‘
- Survey (Tearfund and Youthscape) of teenagers on the climate crisis – ‘Burning down the house‘
- Archbishop Welby addresses international faith leaders on climate change
- Energy Footprint Tool – Parishes in St Albans Diocese can now enter their 2019 energy usage. Also Church Times article relates – see C of E’s Carbon Footprint
- Churches are encouraged to support the Climate Coalition Declaration – ‘The Time is Now‘
The attached list of videos (prepared January 2021), is offered here for your use.
Latest News – January 2021
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
July 2020 – Resources for Outdoor Worship
A new website page has been launched by the Church of England to provide 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.’
Hope in Action – posted June 2020
Local Christians responding to the Climate Crisis. ‘Hope in Action’ exists to support the churches’ response to the climate and ecological crisis through networking and the provision of resources, news, useful information & suggestions for practical action.
May 2020 – Eco Church
Eco Church is a new, web-based award scheme for churches in England and Wales who want to demonstrate that the gospel is good news for God’s earth. It is organised by A Rocha UK, a Christian charity working for the protection and restoration of the natural world, both as a response to the biblical mandate to care for the earth, and as a demonstration of the Christian hope for God’s world.
This scheme is designed to motivate and resource churches in establishing caring for God’s earth as an integral part of their everyday work and witness, working with their local communities to achieve a more sustainable future.
A webinar on Eco Church presented by A Rocha, was held on 7th May – presentation slides here: Eco Church Presentation
More information and resources can be found on the Eco Church website
Count the cost of Carbons – Church Times March 2020:
This helpful article gives guidance on how churches can reduce their carbon footprint.
In introduction, the term ‘net zero’ is explained , as follows: ‘Our carbon footprint is the bundle of greenhouse gases — principally carbon dioxide — that we generate. For churches, this is mainly three things: (a) burning oil and gas for heating; (b) the fossil fuels burned in power stations to create our electricity; and (c) the petrol and diesel we use to travel around. These negatives need to be balanced out by positives, such as switching to renewable energy and planting trees’ – resulting in ‘net zero’.
Full article here: How to count the cost of Carbons