Environment Action Programme Internships

Four students from the University of Oxford share experiences from their internships with the Diocese of Oxford’s Environment Action Programme, discussing the vital work they completed and their thoughts on climate action for a greener future.

I am very positive that the diocese will contribute a lot towards reducing carbon emission

I am studying for an MSc in nature, society and environmental governance at Oxford University. I also studied Islamic studies and humanities at IIS London, while my undergraduate in social development and policy programme was done in Pakistan. When I saw the opportunity to do a micro-internship on the net-zero project with the Diocese of Oxford, I was really happy to use my knowledge of theology, environment and policy-making in this organisation. It was a wonderful week for me as I got to learn a lot from my supervisors and from the work I did.

I worked on gathering data from the diocesan schools about their current energy usage and fuel consumption, which I then analysed to suggest a few points that can be considered for reaching net-zero in the school buildings. The importance of this work cannot be stressed enough. I am really grateful to be a part of this project even for a very short time. I learned that a huge amount of energy in the diocesan system is used for heating buildings. If this can be regularised for clean energy sources, I am positive the diocese will contribute a lot towards reducing carbon emission.

We have a moral and spiritual duty as humans to be respectful stewards to God’s creation and this awareness has to be spread in schools and churches to enable a behavioural change. After this internship, I am hopeful about the future. I am optimistic that generations to come will have a cleaner and more sustained environment to welcome them.

– Wahid Khan

Wahid Khan, intern from University of Oxford

Jessica Robb, intern from University of Oxford

I hope that these grants can be used for steps towards a low-carbon future

My name is Jess and I am an undergraduate studying biochemistry. I was delighted to be given an opportunity to work for the Diocese of Oxford and help contribute towards their EcoHub. I think it will be such an important resource that can be shared with other diocesan branches to encourage taking the first demanding steps towards achieving net-zero.

My task involved creating a database that lists potential sources of funding, specifically on the themes of the environment, community, conservation, heritage, education and energy, all of which can be included in educational and decarbonisation projects. I hope that these grants can be used for things such as energy-efficient refurbishments, local promotion and education about climate change, and steps towards a low-carbon future, investment into renewable energy sources and electric vehicles or community tree-planting projects. I would like to thank all the staff I have worked with on this programme, especially Jackie Davies, who has been incredibly resourceful and friendly. It is clear that everyone working on the hub has a great passion and drive to create positive change and ensure the diocese is leading the way towards a progressive low-carbon future – I wish them all the best on their continued journey.

– Jessica Robb

The resources could be useful to people at all levels of knowledge

I’m Scarlett, a student of philosophy and theology at the University of Oxford. This December, I was given the opportunity to get involved in the Diocese of Oxford’s EcoHub project. During this internship, I worked primarily on the theological and liturgical resources section of the EcoHub. In this role, I uncovered resources that could be useful for those looking to explore the relationship between their faith and the environmental issues currently facing society. The aim was to find a range of these resources so that they could be useful to people at all levels of knowledge – whether they were just starting out or looking to go deeper and read more theological and academic texts. I then wrote summaries on these resources, so that those accessing the EcoHub could read a little bit about what they were and discern whether or not they would be useful.

I also had the chance to interview Maranda St John Nicolle, a member of the Environmental Task Group, to find out more about the role of Christians in environmental action and hear her personal reading recommendations on this topic. I really enjoyed my internship at the Diocese of Oxford; I found it very fulfilling to know that my work would be on the EcoHub website and would have an actual impact, helping people to get involved with the environmental movement on a deeper level, and making resources more accessible.

– Scarlett Haig

Scarlett Haig, intern from University of Oxford

Eleanor Horton, intern from University of Oxford

It allowed me to build on my work as an activist

For my micro-internship, I focused on helping sort and analyse data on energy consumption.

I also did a few interviews with people from different churches on environmental action and their motivations. Both of these were absolutely fascinating as they allowed me to build on my work as an activist, as well as the subjects I’ve been learning for my degree in human sciences.

– Eleanor Horton

The Diocese of Oxford is committed to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2035. Find out what we are already doing to care for creation.