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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 people and organisations to contribute to the effort.

So far, over 300 churches in the Diocese have taken part in one environment-related project or another. Every church is urged to play a full part in the effort to lessen our environmental impact. Everyone needs to play their part if we are 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 needs and circumstances.
  • 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; the challenge to care for God’s creation should be shared; it’s easier for a group to draw in more people.

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 helping tackle climate change; it also promotes energy security, and helps us reduce costs. See:

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 – whether that be at work, school or college, in our free time or 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.

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

More than 50 churches in the Diocese of London have registered with Eco Church. These include one gold award winner, three silvers, and eleven bronze award winners in the Diocese.

To find out more

Contact Brian Cuthbertson, Head of Environment and Sustainability.

External links

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