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Introducing our new Net Zero Programme Manager

Steve Collins is our new Net Zero Carbon Programme Manager. Previously the Deputy Diocesan Secretary for the Diocese of Guildford, he stepped into this new role at the beginning of February 2024, shared by the Dioceses of Portsmouth, Chichester and Guildford.
Having spent two and half years as Deputy Diocesan Secretary, and some of that as Acting Diocesan Secretary, he has seen the breadth of work that a Diocese does and how our journey towards Net Zero will impact each and every area.

The new role brings lots of challenges and Steve is excited to bring together his love for creation and people to it. He said:

“My new Net Zero Carbon (NZC) Programme Manager role enables me to reconnect with my passion for the environment and the local church. They bring together my experience at the Diocese and much of the work I did for more than two decades at Tearfund. I had the privilege to work in community development across the world. During that time, I lived and worked in communities in Latin America and Asia. I met, got to know and, in some cases, developed strong friendships with people living in poverty. I have seen firsthand how they their lives have been increasingly affected by the growing climate change crisis over the last 20 years. 

“Caring for the world connects strongly with how those of us who are Christians live out our faith.

“In Matthew 22, Jesus talked about how all of what God asks of us as his followers ‘hangs’ on the two greatest commandments. The way we think and act with regards to climate change can reflect in some way the extent to which we are living out these commandments:

“How we show care and respect for God’s amazing creation can reflect our love for Him.

“Our Net Zero Carbon work is about reducing our emissions and the damage we do to the world. It’s wider than the diocesan staff and we will be working with churches and people to do the same. Through this, we are reducing the impacts of climate change and sharing the love God wants us to show towards our global neighbours. 

“In Guildford, our Diocesan Net Zero Carbon strategy is not a siloed area of work in our Transforming Church Transforming Lives vision. Through engaging with it, parishes can grow discipleship. It has the potential to grow community through stronger links with other local groups who share our concern about tackling climate change, and it can help our parishes grow diversity through engaging with younger people who naturally are concerned about the world they will be living in for decades to come. 

“My Net Zero Carbon Programme Manager role is split 40/40/20 between Guildford, Chichester and Portsmouth dioceses. I’m excited to move the programme forwards and make a real difference for the world and parishes in all three dioceses.”

Over the coming months, we will be appointing a Net Zero Carbon Specialist and a Diocesan Environmental Officer. They are both important roles and will help us:

  • Build on the existing information, resources and training
  • Decarbonise schools, Diocesan owned clergy housing, offices and glebe land  
  • Support churches to decarbonise their buildings 
  • Create a Net Zero strategy for the Cathedral and future Church House site  
  • Write new policies and schemes to reduce the carbon footprint of work-related travel).
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