Things churches can do

Around the Diocese, churches are recognising care for creation as an integral part of their mission. It’s part of the way we live out the gospel in all areas of our life — and a vital part of our witness to the world around us.

For many churches, the Eco Church programme provides an excellent framework for action. It has a clear process: churches can take a survey which shows how to express care for God’s world in worship and teaching, care for buildings and land, engagement with local communities and global campaigns, and engagement with personal lifestyle questions.

The survey is simple to do, and full of encouragement. You start by recognising what you are already doing. You can then use the questions and Eco Church resources to think what next steps would be appropriate for your church. There’s no single answer — every church brings different gifts and challenges.

As a diocese, we help Eco Churches support each other — coming together (whether online or offline) to share tips and plans, hear talks from people within and outside the Diocese, and join in prayer and action together. We’re working, as well, with the SPIRE programme at University College London to create a process and resources for churches to look at the science and theology of climate change and to plan for action.

We can also support you through some key programmes that help with particular areas of church activity:

  • Every church in the Diocese is eligible for a subsidised energy audit. In this programme, an experienced energy auditor gives personalised advice for your church, showing you how you can save energy and money and move towards ‘net zero’.
  • If you’ve had an energy audit, you can also get support for implementing the audit recommendations.
  • We’re working with Parish Buying to help churches switch to renewable tariffs for electricity — one of the most important changes a parish can make to reduce its carbon footprint.
  • For parishes and deaneries that want to speak with their MPs or local councillors about environmental issues, we can set up training with Hope for the Future, which specialises in showing how to build constructive relationships on these issues with politicians.

Prayer

Lord, as we come before you,
We pray that you will show us how we can do your will
In our care for your world.
Grant us, in your goodness, ears to hear your call,
Hearts and minds ready for change and renewal,
Hands and feet ready for action.
Draw us together as your people in this place
Alongside your people around the world.
Help us to take the time to consider our steps
And sustain us by your grace in the way,
So that we may proclaim the good news in our care for creation
And show your love and justice in the world,
To your glory and for the good of all.

Amen

Resources

The most comprehensive collection of resources for churches can be found on the Eco Church website’s resource section, which covers worship, teaching, practical action and advocacy.

Doing a group study of a book such as Margot and Martin Hodson’s A Christian Guide to Environmental Issues may spark ideas for church action.

Read about how our link partners in South Africa and schools in India are tackling climate issues on the Partners for World Mission website.

Find Out More

The Eco Church website is a key resource for working out what churches can do — and are doing.

Church of England Environment Programme — includes materials on preparing for climate action, information about national church programmes, liturgical resources, and more.

Hope for the Future — offers information on climate issues and how to talk about them with MPs, local councillors and your neighbours. We can also organise a training session with them for churches in your area.

Operation Noah — offers resources for group studies, as well as information on how your church can think about its investments.

The Christian Aid and Tearfund sites offer materials for churches that want to work for climate justice and to stand alongside communities in other countries affected by climate change and environmental issues.