Environment

The fifth Mark of Mission within the Anglican Communion is to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth. We are all called to care for God’s creation.

Diocesan Environmental Advisory Group (DEAG)

Diocesan Environmental Officer: 

John Polhill john@reflectiongardens.org.uk

John Polhill is our Diocesan Environmental Officer. He is part of the Diocesan Environmental Advisory Group, along with Richard Clarkson, David Primrose (Transforming Communities), Kristina Williamson (DAC), and Fiona North (Parish Projects and Grants).

Environmental Policy

Our current work is shaped by our Diocesan Environmental Strategy which was adopted in November 2014.

Caring for God’s Acre

As part of a pilot arrangement with our diocese, the national charity Caring for God's Acre (CfGA) are providing a range of services to churches with churchyards. Withou additional cost, church will be able to:

  • attend a series of conferences around the Diocese covering practical and statutory aspects of churchyard management
  • receive specific advice from CfGA about community engagement and volunteer groups
  • get support and advice from CfGA with applications for external grant funding
  • eight churches can receive 50% funding (£300) for the preparation of an individual churchyard management brief from CfGA specialists

For more information contact: John Polhill john@reflectiongardens.org.uk

Churchyard Management Plans

Samples of Churchyard Management plans can be found by clicking on the links below:

Bradley

Heathtown

Tettenhall Regis

Environmental Actions Plans (EAPs)

In communities across the diocese, there has been great progress in environmental awareness and action over the last twenty years, and many local churches have played a significant role in promoting care for God’s creation. As part of our Diocesan Environmental Strategy, during 2015 we had a scheme, fully funded by our Mission Development Fund, to provide environmental action plans for up to 40 churches across the diocese. These plans provided PCCs with practical suggestions as to how they could become even more environmentally friendly. The areas covered included, where appropriate, the biodiversity of the churchyard, the recycling of waste material, the best use of existing resources, green purchasing, optimal heating and lighting, and renewable energy generation. Information is still available from tc@lichfield.anglican.org

Resources

Creationtide resources

New resources for Creationtide are now available on the Church of England website here. In addition to the existing materials there are now some new liturgies and a daily actions and reflections sheet thanks to the DEO Liturgy Group.

Websites

The national procurement service Parish Buying now has a renewable energy deal in addition to the general ‘energy basket’ making the best use of the combined buying power of the Church to provide competitive green energy rates for parishes. Parish Buying now has over 9000 users so it doesn’t yet have complete coverage but it is expanding rapidly. They also have discounts on office products, IT, telecoms and fire safety, amongst other areas and are working their way through to things like insurance, LED lamps and boilers.

Some dioceses have already teamed up with Ecotricity to create a scheme through which both churches and individuals can sign up to switch to green energy. Other green suppliers include Good Energy and Green Energy.

Many of the large energy companies now include greener tariffs in their portfolio. It is always worth reading the small print to assess what is actually renewable energy sourcing and how much is merely about 'offsetting' emissions.

Marches Energy Agency is a local organisation offering good advice. They are working with Sustainability West Midlands to provide support for Low Carbon Energy Generation schemes.

Another useful source is the Energy Saving Trust

Some innovative local sourcing initiatives are also underway, such as Sharenergy.

Don't forget, once a church has moved across to green energy sources, the next step is to encourage PCC and congregation members (and the vicar!) to do the same with their home supplies, making faith action count seven days a week.