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The environment and Mission Action Plans

This page presents ideas and resources to help any parish integrate its environmental ambitions into its Mission Action Plan.

It sets out questions for a congregation to discuss.

See also:

Also you can download from the foot of this page:

  • For Creed and Creation – a handy booklet with simple tips
  • People, Parishes, Environment – a poster to display in the church.

Mission Action Plans

The Diocese of London provides a range of advice and resources to help a parish establish, maintain and implement its Mission Action Plan. Every church should have a Mission Action Plan.

The Environment and Mission Action Plans

Care for God’s creation is an essential part of the Christian faith. God commanded humanity to care for His creation (Gen 2:15), Christ is supreme over creation (Colossians 1:15 ff), and He intends to redeem it as part of ‘all things’ (Col 1:23 and Romans 8: 19 ff). If we wish to take part in God’s plan of redemption, we must care for creation.

Therefore the environment forms part of the Mission of every church. It should be represented in its Mission Action Plan.

Aims and objectives

A set of agreed aims and objectives needs to be agreed by the Church Council. This guidance offers a range of challenges and options for how to meet them.

It is not possible to tackle so large a task all at once. Each church needs to evaluate priorities for their importance and urgency in the context of its mission as a whole.

Shrinking the Footprint

Shrinking the Footprint is the strapline for the Church of England’s national environmental programme, especially encouraging churches to reduce their energy use and carbon footprint, and to care for God’s creation in everything they do.

Diocesan Environmental Policy

The Diocese of London’s Environmental Policy may be found at Diocesan environmental policy.

Every parish is encouraged to play its part in implementing this policy, according to the circumstances and capacity of the church concerned.

Parish Environmental Policy

Every parish is also encouraged to establish an environmental policy, in line with the Diocese’s policy.

  • Does your parish have a parish environmental policy?
  • What can be done to introduce/improve or extend/better implement an existing parish policy?
  • What should be this Church’s priorities? We can’t do everything all at once! What is most important? What is most urgent?

Parish Environmental Champion(s)

Every parish is encouraged to appoint a person or group as environmental champion(s).
SeeParish environmental champions.

  • Has your church appointed any person(s) to such a role (preferably a small group)?

Eco-Church

Eco Church launched in January 2016.

Eco Church is a tool to help churches begin to address environmental issues in all that they do. It is suitable for all kinds of churches.

Every church is encouraged to sign up to Eco Church.

Energy and carbon

The Diocese of London as part of the Church of England’s national campaign aims to reduce its energy use and carbon emissions by:

  • 42% by 2020
  • 80% by 2050.

These are challenging targets, and every church is urged to play its full part in achieving them.

See also Route 2050, and Climate Action Programme, for how we plan to achieve these targets.

Climate Action Plans

The Diocese has devised its own scheme to help parishes play their part in meeting our energy and carbon reduction goals. This is called Climate Action Plans. Every church is encouraged to take part.

Has your church considered taking part in Climate Action Plans?

The first step in Climate Action Plans is Energy-saving Benchmarking. 25% of churches in the Diocese of London so far have taken part in Energy-saving Benchmarking.

  • Has your church registered for Energy-saving Benchmarking?

Benchmarking enables an action plan to be developed. This Climate Action Plan should become part of the church’s Mission Action Plan.

Transport

Transport plays a part in the energy use and carbon emissions we are responsible for in our daily lives, including travelling to and from church. See Transport, air travel and the environment.

  • How do most church members travel to church to work, during free time, on holiday?
  • What can we do to encourage low carbon travel?

Water and waste

Water scarcity may hardly seem to be an issue in the UK these days!

Nevertheless, London’s water supply is in fact under increasing pressure from the growing population.

Water purification and distribution also contribute to energy use and carbon emissions.

See Conserving water in church and home.

  • What arrangements does your church have to economise on water?

Waste disposal contributes to environmental pollution, and also adds to carbon emissions.

See Waste collection and recycling.

  • Is your waste recycled? Who organises/collects/pays?
  • Does your waste collection company practise a zero to landfill policy?

Wildlife and biodiversity

Caring for the wildlife even in our urban environment – perhaps especially there – is an obvious part of caring for God’s creation.

See Churchyards for London.

  • What wildlife is there on your church site/in the neighbourhood?
  • What can church members do to care/conserve/encourage it?

Also see Wildlife, ecology and biodiversity and Churchyards and wildlife.

Food and drink

See Food and drink.

Consider the following:

  • What food and drink is served in the Church?
  • What consideration is given to where it comes from, and how it is produced?
  • Is our Church using Creation Time (1 September to 4 October) to reflect on environmentally friendly food consumption?

See The environment around the year.

  • What more can be done in the longer term – at church and at home?

The Diocese of London is now a Fairtrade Diocese.

  • Is the Church a diocesan registered Fairtrade church yet?
  • What fair trade actions are being taken/should be taken?

Things we buy for the Church

  • Paper and/or IT? Which is more eco-friendly?
  • What else do we buy? For the church/at home?

Wider look

Take a look at An interconnected world.

  • What more can and should we all do to be salt and light in the world we live in, from the environmental point of view?
  • How can we help our local community to hang together in the face of challenges to human security and wellbeing?
  • How can we play our part with the Diocese’s partners in helping communities elsewhere in the world, especially the developing world, to reduce their much greater environmental stresses and to build resilience?
  • How do we avoid getting distracted by our own concerns – however valid and pressing they might be?

What next?

  • What should we be following up from the questions we’ve been discussing?
  • What homework should be done/ by whom in the church congregation?
  • How should we set our aims and objectives, an action plan and programme, and when to put these to the Church Council?

Information and resources

For advice or more information, contact:

And see Resources on the environment.

Resources

FileAction
People, Parishes, Environment  Download  
For Creed and Creation  Download  

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