Environment News & Updates
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.
Summer 2020 Environment Bulletin – Church of England Environment Programme
‘Whilst we are very conscious that dioceses, parishes and schools will have been focusing fully on the terrible impacts of the coronavirus crisis, we have seen environmental benefits. We have had the sharpest fall in carbon emissions and the most beautiful spring and early summer with much greater attention to birdsong, wildlife and the beauty of the earth. How will we hold on to those gains?’
Extract above from Summer Bulletin – available in full here: Summer 2020 Church of England Environment Programme
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
May 2020 – Webinars from ‘Bats in Churches’
Every Wednesday this month
The last century saw a dramatic decline in bat populations, largely due to loss of habitat, and as a result bats are now protected by law. Churches are important roosting sites for bats and some have provided a safe haven from habitat loss for many generations.
A free on-line discussion series is offered by Bats in Churches (link – sign-up direct) :
- 6 May 1pm – ‘Britain’s Bat Story’
- 13 May 1pm – ‘England’s Church Buildings – Treasure Houses of History’
- 20 May 1pm – ‘Understanding Bats through their DNA’
- 27 May 1pm – ‘The Wonders of Church Wall Paintings’
Spring 2020 Environment Bulletin – Church of England Environment Programme
Following recent news of the Church of England’s ambitious target to achieve net zero by 2030, this Bulletin tells you more about action across the Church, as well as highlighting valuable resources.
Full Bulletin here: Spring 2020 Church of England Environment Programme
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
REPAIR CAFE – 18th April 2020 – CANCELLED (notification 17/03/2020)
Lent Courses this year:
- #LiveLent: Care for God’s Creation is the Church of England’s Lent Campaign for 2020. With weekly themes shaped around the first Genesis account of creation, it offers 40 short reflections and explores the urgent need for humans to value and protect the abundance God has created.
- ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth’ is inspired by the opening chapter of Genesis, and focuses on theology, ecology and activism. This 5-week Lent Course is taking place in Barnet, with options of afternoon or evening sessions – full details in linked flyer.
February 2020: STOP PRESS e-newsletter from the Church of England Environment Programme
On 12 February 2020, General Synod passed a motion ‘recognising the climate emergency, calling on all parts of the Church to reduce their emissions year-on-year, aiming for a target of net zero by 2030 at the latest‘ – full newsletter here: Environment Bulletin Feb 2020
January 2020 – DEO News – 2020 Events & CofE target to ‘reach carbon neutral by 2045’
General Synod is to be asked to set a target date of 2045 for the Church of England to become carbon-neutral, at their meeting in February 2020. The motion will be moved by The Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury, when the Synod meets in London next month. Bishop Nicholas has pointed out that combating climate change is one of the five Anglican ‘marks of mission’. A new Energy Rating Tool will be launched for use by all parishes, anticipated in April, it is currently being trialed.
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Church of England Environment Programme – Winter 2019
The Bishop of Salisbury, The Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, Chair of the National Environment Working Group, writes:
“2020 is a critical year for gathering momentum on the climate and other ecological concerns, with a motion at General Synod, the Lent campaign, Lambeth2020, plus a strong faith voice at the COP26 international climate talks.”
Available here: Environment Programme Winter 2019 Newsletter
Questions for Hustings – General Election Nov-2019:
Questions received in response to Rachel’s recent email request, are now available for your information and use, see:
October 2019 – Our new Diocesan Environment Officer (DEO), Rachel Johnston:
“It’s a huge privilege and a heavy responsibility to have been appointed to this role when our environment, the beautiful world which God created, is in crisis. I became involved in environmental issues after having attended the inspirational ‘Caring for God’s Earth’ Conference in St Albans Abbey in 2015 – when I first realised the scale of the destruction facing our environment as a result of climate change …….
This inspired me to join the Pilgrimage to Paris, organised by the Church of England and Christian Aid before the Paris 2015 Climate Talks. We set off in determination and hope that, with the support and prayers of Christians across the nation, our pilgrimage would reach Paris, where a petition would be presented, calling for climate justice for the world’s poor and for the leaders of the nations to take urgent action to prevent irreversible damage to the environment. The historic treaty that resulted was truly an answer to prayer, but, sadly, there has been insufficient action by politicians to bring necessary changes into effect ……
My hope is that as a Diocese we will be able to extend the range of support and resources to enable all parishes to put Living God’s Love into practice, living with respect for others and caring for the world in which we live. ….. Every positive action we take will make a difference for those most affected by climate change now and for generations in the future.
As a first step, a network across the Diocese will be established, so that we can provide practical support, encouragement and inspiration for parishes …. We need enthusiastic volunteers, able to share expertise and experience, or simply willing to help. If you would be interested in being part of a network, please contact me – I would be delighted to hear from you.” Email: Rachel – Environment Officer or call on tel no. 07947989770 .
Full message from Rachel here: DEO Introductory Message
Church of England Environment Programme – Autumn 2019
1. It’s the Season of Creation (1st Sep – 4th Oct).
2. During the Season of Creation, why not boost biodiversity?
3. Archbishop of Canterbury’s presidential address to the Anglican Consultative Council
4. Comment on fires in the Amazon
5. Events Diary Sep-Dec
6. Find your local Diocesan Environment Officer.
7. Environmental News from General Synod July 2019
8. Update on National Investing Bodies’ climate engagement work
9. Update on The Transition Pathway Initiative
10. Eco Church update : Over 1000 Eco Churches and 17 Diocese!
11. 2020 a year of action : Lent, Lambeth, and COP
12. Useful theological resources, linking faith and the environment
13. Diocese of Canterbury Outlook Magazine – “We’ve got 12 years”
14. Christian Aid’s FREE campaigning toolkit
15. Energy audits and carbon foot-printing
Read the Environment Programme Autumn 2019 Newsletter