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Caring for the environment

The national Church of England’s Environment Programme exists to enable the whole Church to address climate change — in faith, practice and mission. 

This includes tackling our own carbon emissions and wider work. In October 2020, the Diocese of Guildford’s Diocesan Synod passed a motion on Net Zero Carbon Emissions to accept the General Synod Motion on becoming Net Zero by 2030.

Below you’ll find ideas, practical resources, links and guidance to support you in working towards this goal, and for growing your church’s care and concern for God’s creation

Two ducks stood beside a tranquil river surrounded by trees

New to eco-issues?

Reflect on the theological, missional and financial reasons for making environmental care a priority, and see the six steps to begin your own environment care programme.

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Close up of a child in the countryside walking on a log in pink floral wellies


Inspire care for the environment within and beyond the church family with prayers, worship resources, Climate Sunday, outdoor worship ideas and more.

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Close up of a five and ten pound note

Savings, funding & grants

See where you make savings, apply for grants and source funding for environment projects of all kinds.


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Did you know that 70% of a parish’s carbon footprint will be their heating? Before you start to think of solar panels or any other investments, it’s vital to look at low carbon heating options first. This is how we will achieve Net Zero as a diocese.
As the requirements of every building are different, it’s vital to get expert, impartial advice. This can be achieved through paying for an Energy Audit for your buildings, and these can be purchased at a reduced price from Parish Buying

More on heating

Visit the Church of England’s brilliant web page on heating churches and what changes you can begin to make to reduce carbon emissions.


Whilst LED lighting is now seen as the most efficient and effective light source, it is the extent of use and the management of lighting that determines the energy utilisation and the impact on carbon use. Take time to watch this webinar on the national Church of England’s Environment Programme to learn more.

Green tariffs for electricity and gas

The best place to look choose your green tariff is the Big Clean Switch comparison website.

Carbon calculator

The best carbon calculator on the web is 360carbon.org, free to use, and tailored to churches. We think this is perfect for those parishes that have achieved Bronze Eco Church or higher. If you are just setting out on your Eco journey, this might seem daunting, so come back to it when you are a bit further along.

Off-setting carbon emissions

We strongly advocate that parishes concentrate on REDUCING CARBON rather than paying to off-set it. 

Taking actions to off-set, however, such as installing renewable energy sources and planting trees, are strongly welcomed, and 360 carbon will calculate the off-set for you. If you choose to go down the path of off-setting, we ONLY recommend Climate Stewards as a responsible off-setting organisation.

Church land

Caring for God’s Acre is great website to explore resources and get involved in all kinds of initiatives to help manage church land and cultivate it for increasing biodiversity. Here are some of the really key pages to look at:

These are some other helpful websites for land management:

Who to contact

The Diocese of Guildford has a Net Zero Working Group.

For all enquiries contact the Diocesan Team.

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