At times the climate emergency and nature crisis can feel overwhelming and it can be hard to know where to start in your own church community.
Step 1: Become a team
Any task can be hard work on your own. Changing the culture in your church can be challenging at times and having a small group who bring different skills and experiences, who pray together, support each other and can share the load can be vital for success.
Step 2: Ask the PCC to pass a Parish Environment Policy
Putting a policy to the PCC gives the church leadership the opportunity to openly discuss the environmental crises and how your church will respond. Once a policy has been passed it can be a useful to assess other PCC decisions in the light of the Environment Policy.
There is a template model policy here. You can amend and adapt this to suit your church and its context.
Step 3: Appoint a Parish Environment Officer
It can be helpful to have a nominated person who ensures that environmental issues are championed. This should never mean that the rest of the congregation feel that they don’t have to think about creation care! Please let charlie.scott [at] leeds.anglican.org (Charlie Scott) at the Diocese know who your Parish Environment Officer is, so that they can be kept informed about training opportunities, resources and supported by the Area Environment Champions.
Step 4: Register on the Eco Church website
It’s easy to register your church on the Eco Church website. Go to Eco Church, click on the “Register now to get started” tab and follow the instructions. Registering costs nothing and does not commit you to complete the award, what it does do is give you the opportunity to view the Eco Church survey and “play” at entering your churches achievements.
Step 5: Write a plan
Becoming a zero carbon church, having a wildlife churchyard, being single use plastic free are all big challenges! It is important to have a realistic plan that sets out what needs to be done, who will do it, who needs to be consulted and what it might cost. Make sure you start with an easily achievable task to get you underway.