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Seven ways you can care for creation

We need to care for the environment. We know that all is not well with the natural world around us. Climate change and environmental degradation is impacting people all around the world.

Over the summer of 2023, we were reminded of the ever-growing impacts of climate change, particularly as they have manifested themselves much closer to home than has often been the case before. We saw life impacting heatwaves and fires in Mediterranean countries. Scientists have told us that if current trends continue, last year’s record-breaking summer temperatures will be considered a cool summer by the end of this century

We know climate change is impacting the whole of the world, life as we know it is going to change. So, what can we do now?

Become an Eco Church

By using schemes like A Rocha’s Eco Church, Churches are taking the lead in caring for God's creation. The program equips churches to integrate sustainable practices into worship, buildings, land management, community engagement, and individual lifestyles. 

Help us work towards Net Zero Carbon

We have a local plan to reduce our collective carbon emissions to Net Zero by 2030. It's in line with the National Church of England's Net Zero Carbon plan. We'll be working with people across the diocese to reduce carbon emissions and take advantage of opportunities for funding to improve energy efficiency. This ambitious goal involves balancing the amount of greenhouse gases produced with an equivalent amount removed or offset. Join us and set your own target to reduce your carbon footprint, contributing to a more sustainable future.

Complete the Energy Footprint Tool (EFT)

Understanding your energy footprint is the first step towards reducing it. Complete your parish EFT to find out how energy-efficient your building is. This tool will help you make informed decisions and track progress over time. You can log in via the Parish Returns portal.

Find out where your energy is going

For those churches in the National top 600 emitters, the National Church is offering free energy audits (those parishes will have already been contacted by the Diocesan Office). Other churches may commission an audit through the Parish Buying Website. The Diocesan Office is currently in discussion with Surrey County Council about potential access to discounted energy audits provided by a local supplier - if interested, please contact Andy Wells.

Transition to lower carbon emissions

Reduce carbon emissions with simple choices in various aspects of your life. From lighting and energy consumption to boiler efficiency and insulation, small changes collectively contribute to significant environmental benefits. Explore eco-friendly alternatives and technologies to minimise your carbon footprint.

Apply for funding

Many organisations and government agencies provide funding for projects aimed at sustainability and environmental conservation. The Church of England and Surrey County Council have a number of grants and regularly launch new ones. At the moment, in line with our NZC Strategy approach, our priority is to focus on the church buildings that currently have the largest carbon footprint and we will be contacting those churches in the coming weeks and months to work out how best we can support them.

In the meantime, our NZC Volunteer, Andy Wells has been liaising with Surrey County Council to identify some potential funding pots to help parishes reduce their carbon footprint. We will continue to update this as our knowledge base of other funding opportunities grows.

We’ve listed some grants and funding support available on our website.

Use resources

There are so many resources to help you equip yourself and those around you with knowledge about environmental issues and sustainable living. Some of our top picks are:

A Rocha worship and teaching - including resources for small groups, recommendations for special Sundays and tools for prayer.

Dave Bookless from A Rocha provides sermon resources that address the intersection of faith and environmental stewardship. Use these materials to inspire and educate your community on the biblical perspective of caring for the natural world. Share insights on how individuals and churches can contribute to positive change.

Tearfund gives valuable information and materials for individuals and communities seeking to make a positive difference.

There are all kinds of resources for environment-themed worship and reflection on Christian Concern for One World

The Church of England has lots of webinars and recordings across a variety of topics.

Climate change affects us all, and each individual action contributes to the collective effort to care for creation. By implementing these six practical steps, we can work towards a more sustainable and resilient future for our planet. Remember, it is never too late to make a positive impact and inspire others to join the cause.

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