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Shrinking the Footprint: Churches and people

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‘Think Global, Act Local’ is an apt and popular slogan. Although much of the environmental debate is on a global scale, there are many practical ways for individuals and organisations to contribute to the effort.

So far, over 250 churches in the Diocese have taken part in one environmental project or another. Every church is urged to play a full part in the effort to mitigate our environmental footprint. Full participation will be needed to achieve our shared goals.

  • The environment should form part of every church’s Mission Action Plan, reflecting the Diocese’s aims while taking account of local circumstances and aspirations.
  • Each church is encouraged to designate an individual, or a group of members, as Parish Environmental Champions. We owe a debt to the energy and dedication of these champions. A group is even better than one individual. Their pooled time and efforts will be greater; and the challenge to care for God’s creation is a duty to be shared – it’s easier for a group to draw more people into the effort.

Parish annual returns

Since 2007, figures for energy consumption have been requested as part of parish annual returns.

This information is very useful in implementing our ‘Shrinking the Footprint’ effort. Not only does it measure our progress in the effort to tackle climate change; it also promotes energy security, and helps us reduce costs to parishes and individuals.

Three basic steps

Once we have assessed our energy use and carbon footprint, we need to take steps to reduce them, by:

Most of our churches have already taken some or all of these actions.

Going further

There are three routes for a church to take, which add up to major savings in energy and carbon emissions:

Examples of such projects include Solar panels.

Details of how to finance capital works are gven in Climate Action Finance.

Walking the talk

Suggestions for green lifestyle choices

The lessons we learn in church should be taken home with us to our everyday lives including work, school or college, our recreation and on holiday.

There are so many ways for individuals and families to reduce our environmental impact and help tackle climate change – while still enjoying ‘fullness of life’.

To start off with: have you measured your personal carbon footprint yet? Try the Carbon Footprint website.

Then how about:

Eco Church

Eco Church is the Christian environmental scheme for churches run by A Rocha UK.

Eco Church provides tools to help churches weave their response to environmental issues into all that they do.

About 40 of our churches so far have signed up to Eco Church. Nine have won awards.

The Diocese of London encourages every church to take part in Eco Church.

To find out more

Contact Brian Cuthbertson, Head of Environment and Sustainability.

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