Responding to Climate Emergency
9th October 2019
How can you make a difference to the environment?
The Church of England’s lead Bishop for the Environment, Nicholas Holtam, writes: “There is a climate emergency and we are all called to exercise leadership in this area, prioritising the fifth mark of mission ‘to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth’. Without this being done wholeheartedly the other four marks lack meaning and credibility in today’s context. It is now clear that almost everything we do needs to be seen through the lens of the environment.”
Through actions such as switching to green energy, carrying out energy audits on our buildings, installing renewables, encouraging biodiversity with the Bats in Churches project and plastic reduction schemes, and shareholder resolutions aimed at reducing carbon impacts, the Church of England is actively reviewing its activities across the board to combat the threat which Climate Change poses.
Across the country, schools have partnered with churches and cathedrals to find ways for children to be involved in climate observances and action without putting themselves in danger.
The Church of England’s Education Department has partnered with Christian aid and the Global Neighbours school accreditation scheme which recognises the excellent work that many schools are doing to engage in courageous advocacy and challenge injustice.
We can do more, individually, as churches, dioceses and as a national church and will continue to develop ways to measure and reduce our carbon impacts, while promoting biodiversity.
The Season of Creation (which is drawing to a close) is a time of year when we have a special focus on God’s creation.
The Church of England has also issued the following prayer for the environment:
Loving God, creator of our common home,
You fill the earth and sea and sky with life
Forgive us our neglect of your creation
The choking waste of our pollution
The damage done by careless habits
And our indifference to future generations.
Help us to amend our lives
To refuse more plastic if we can’t reuse it
To lift our voice for lasting change
And to live well and gently on the earth
To the glory of your Son, the Living Word
Through whom you made this fragile world.