Caring for the environment: Support and resources for churches and Christians.

Diocesan Environmental Policy - approved by Synod March 2010 

Letter to PCC Secretaries - May 2010 

Theology & Society - the Environment - July 2010


Crisis and Commitment

In August 2011 the Anglican Communion Environmental Network met in Lima, Peru. Their conclusion was that creation is in crisis. Each participant from around the world reported accelerating impacts from human-induced climate change and environmental degradation in their regions. Many participants also reported extensive ignorance and in some cases unwillingness to take action. For full details see the Lima Statement and Action Plan.


"The Earth is the Lord's" (Psalm 24)

Christian care for the environment rests on three pillars:

  • this world is God’s creation. He made it and “saw … it was very good.”
  • God has given human beings a responsibility for his creation.
  • God is a God of justice and mercy and he calls us to be people of justice and mercy too. Almost everything bad about climate change and environmental degradation affects the poor and future generations worse than the rich and comfortable.

Our world faces many environmental problems. Climate change is at the heart of many of them, changing weather patterns, creating desert, and damaging habitats and biodiversity. Human activity has polluted earth, air and water, destroying vital tropical forests, exhausting fossil fuels, over-fishing oceans and hastening the extinction of species.

As Christians, our calling to care for God’s earth and our commitment to justice, love and mercy demand we pay attention both to the causes and possible remedies. This is not an optional interest but a central consequence of our faith.

For a fuller theological consideration of this introduction and why Christians should care for the environment - click here.


Environment Officer: vacant


Where do we start?

Shrinking the Footprint

Shrinking the Footprint - the Church of England's National Environmental Campaign

This Campaign aims to measure and then reduce the current ‘carbon footprint’ of the Church to help prevent global warming.

The campaign website leads the user through an audit and series of practical steps. The intention is for every parish to address the issues that are raised. We need to reduce our carbon footprint by at least 80% by 2050, but it is imperative that we are reducing it significantly now. This campaign shows the church taking the issue seriously – but for it to work we have all to join in.

Caring for God’s Earth - A Practical Guide
An excellent booklet from the Diocese of Ripon and Leeds, Caring for God’s Earth - A Practical Guide provides Ideas for action and Resources to help churches in five key areas: Liturgy, Energy, Buildings, Transport and Purchasing.

Year of the Child 2009


Eco-congregation has a series of modules which a parish (or a group) can work through, looking at different aspects of church life and discovering how things might be done in a more eco-friendly way. These can be used as a practical way of implementing the Shrinking the Footprint aims in a congregation.Module One: Get Going - can be downloaded from the website.



Resources Organisations and websites and resources:

Yorkshire Living Churchyard Project  Spring Newsletter 2013

Green Action for Sustainable Places - was produced by Wakefield Diocese Church in Society Group to help Churches and Church members adopt good practice. While somewhat out of date, it is still a useful source of ideas.

A Rocha - an international conservation organisation working to care for God's world. A Rocha UK is headed up by Dave Bookless who has produced some useful DVD's. It also includes the Living Lightly initiative, a fellowship of people committed to living out a biblical understanding for creation care in their daily lives.

Christian Aid has a Climate Change section.

Christian Ecology Link - a multi-denominational UK Christian organisation concerned about the environment. Includes news and articles for parish magazines. Has an Environmental Audit for Churches.

John Ray Institute - a Christian educational charity concerned with the environment; it has some excellent downloadable briefing papers.

Operation Noah grew out of the Christian Ecology Link and focuses exclusively on climate change. Operation Noah exists because God's creation faces the most urgent peril, which, to be averted, requires a rapid and radical transformation of our economy and culture - towards liveable, supportable lifestyles.


Good Christian sites from other countries include European Christian Environmental NetworkAu Sable Institute and Creation Care.

Good secular sites include Stop Climate ChaosThe EcologistPractical Action, theConservation Foundation and Waste Watch.

More locally the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust runs the Living Churchyards Project. Project Officer: Elizabeth Hardcastle.


Books, theological and practical:

Links are external links to purchase.

Also many readable secular books e.g. Six Degrees by Mark Lynas or Heat by George Monbiot.


Talks and DVD's:

Renewing the Face of the Earth: Human responsibility and the environment - lecture by the Archbishop of Canterbury - March 2009. 
The Blessing of Creation - Professor John Rodwell's address to Wakefield Diocesan Synod, October 2006. 
In October 2006 Wakefield Diocesan Synod agreed the following statement unanimously: The Creation is more than a colourful backdrop to God's redemptive work in Jesus Christ. It is infused with God's desire for all that he has made. The Church has sometimes failed to proclaim this truth and should rediscover fresh ways of embracing environmental stewardship.
Resources from A Rocha with service, sermon material and Powerpoint presentations. 
Climate Change and Christian Faith - a CD produced by York Courses by Sir John Houghton, Oxford physics professor.


Church Times Green Awards

The Church Times has launched a set of awards for churches and individuals who have worked to help promote environmental sustainability for more details -click here.

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