Caring for Creation policy
The Diocese in Europe is committed to three projects which can help us navigate our way through these issues. In relation to these three projects the Diocese in Europe, across all its activities and chaplaincies, commits to:
1. Eco Church
Becoming an Eco – Diocese and continuing to build on the foundations already laid in many chaplaincies until ALL our chaplaincies are on the journey together. We were awarded the Bronze Eco Diocese Award in 2022, which is a great beginning but now we need to move forward and on to the Silver! For each level a progressively rising proportion of churches is required to be registered as Eco-Churches and a set proportion to have been awarded Bronze, Silver or Gold.
In order to implement this all Chaplaincy Councils are expected to appoint a LEO (Local Environment Officer) who not only acts as the direct link to the DEO (Diocesan Environment Officer) but is also encouraged to form a group to tackle the task. The LEO does not have to be an elected Chaplaincy Council member, but they are to be regularly invited to update the Council as to progress made etc. Reducing our environmental footprint and achieving carbon neutrality is a task for the whole community and not just for one individual.
Similarly, each Archdeaconry will establish a Creation Care network and include an agenda point on Creation Care in all Archdeaconry Synod meetings.
2. Working towards Net Zero Carbon by 2030
We understand the urgent need to reduce emissions and embed caring for creation into all aspects of our church life from worship, teaching and training, to the sustainable management of buildings, land and financial resources. To become ‘Net Zero Carbon’ by 2030 is a big challenge requiring urgent action.
Working towards Net Zero Carbon emissions by 2030 we commit to:
- Promoting and taking action for reduction of carbon emissions associated with all areas of our church life and work. To this end, we will engage in a programme of activity in all areas of Diocesan life and support each other in our efforts. The programme will be reviewed and updated annually with the support of the Net Zero Working Group.
Using relevant tools to measure our progress in reducing CO2 emissions and sharing information, resources and good practice.
Seeking to reduce emissions by improved energy efficiency, increased use of renewable energy sources, modifications to buildings and the way they are used, prioritisation of sustainable transport modalities and behavioural change.
Establishing environment and climate-related criteria for Diocesan investment and purchasing policy and applying them across the Diocese
We will pursue improvements urgently and continuously. We will explore options for offsetting for emissions that cannot be avoided.
3. Season of Creation
Chaplaincies across the Diocese commit to a variety of activities and services, both indoors and out, which will celebrate the Season of Creation. This starts on 1. September, the Day of Prayer for Creation, and ends on 4. October, the Feast of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology.
Clergy and readers commit to focus on Care for Creation themes during this season, and are called upon to engage with the relevant resources made available through Environment Officer and website.
The Season of Creation is also an opportunity to engage with local ecumenical partners wherever possible in prayer and action for our common home.
Support for turning commitments into action
The Ministry Team of the Diocese will work to embed Caring for Creation into all training programmes including post ordination, MES, Readers and lay training. The Care for Creation content of all training programmes will be regularly reviewed and updated.
The Diocesan staff and officers will encourage and support chaplaincies in their work towards becoming Eco-Chaplaincies and the goal to be ‘net zero carbon’ by 2030. The aims of the projects will also be anchored in the training programmes of the Diocese, for example in the preaching and mission sections.
All Diocesan activity will be assessed with a view to reducing our carbon footprint including progressively reducing emissions from travel, energy use and other areas of activity, using agreed (and regularly updated) targets and standard metrics.
The Season of Creation is a time to renew our relationship with our Creator and all creation through repentance, celebration and commitment together.
The Diocese will use all its Communications tools to promote Care for Creation, and to share information supporting chaplaincies in their environmental work.
The Diocese will seek to develop and resource-specific role(s) that will support the widespread implementation of this policy.
All of the above are underpinned by The Five Anglican Marks of Mission:
Proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
Teach, nurture and baptise new believers
Respond to human need by loving service
Seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind, and to pursue peace and reconciliation
Strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth