Eco Church Autumn 2023
A Rocha UK held a webinar on Tuesday 21st November to celebrate its Big Green Week. Visit the Big Green Week site to find out more about this, to view the webinar and to celebrate the progress of Eco Church.
The Diocesan Environment Group held two Eco Church Evenings, on Thursday 19th October at St Margaret's Wolston and on Tuesday 7th November at Claverdon Church Centre. Each evening had different talks on the Eco Church categories and opportunities to network with other local Eco Church enthusiasts. Both meetings were well attended and popular. The DEG thank our hosts at Wolston and Claverdon for their kind hospitality.
Eco Church reports: "Last autumn marked a significant milestone for Eco Church as we celebrated the achievement of 2,000 awarded churches since the program’s launch in 2016. Just one year on, we have now surpassed 3,000 awarded churches!" For more information see this link. The Diocese of Coventry currently has 95 churches registered. However, 44 have not yet achieved a Bronze Award; this is relatively easy to achieve. If you need advice and encouragement so contact the Diocesan Environment Officer (Godfrey.Armitage@Coventry.Anglican.org ).
Are your panels ethically sourced?
Bearing in mind the recent BBC article on solar panels linked to claims of forced labour in China please check that you source your panels from manufacturers that have signed up to the Solar Supply Chain Traceability Protocol by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
The Season of Creation 2023
Energy Footprint Tool
By 3rd July 2023, 160 churches had still to submit their Energy Footprint Data for 2022; we do hope that many of these were able to submit data in time. This data is very useful for helping us and the Church of England as we work towards Net Zero Carbon, urgent in view of the current heatwaves or floods in many parts of the world . See below under Routemap to Net Zero and visit https://www.coventry.anglican.org/info-for-parishes/energy-footprint-tool/ to help your church to complete the form.
New Bible Resource
The Season of Creation starts at the beginning of September and continues till the Feast of St Francis of Assiss on 4th October. You might like to do some Bible Studies on Care of Creation and this new resource 'A Christian Look at the Environment' by Revd Rich Clarkson, former DEO of Lichfield Diocese, might be just right for you and your church: https://jri.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/JRI-Bible-Studies-updated-2023.pdf
Church of England excludes all fossil fuel companies from £10.3bn endowment fund
The body managing the Church of England’s £10.3bn endowment fund is excluding all oil and gas companies, stating that none are in “genuine alignment” with global climate goals.The Church Commissioners for England excluded 20 large oil and gas firms from its investment portfolio in 2021, having already excluded coal extraction and generation at that point.
It gave other firms until 2023 to evidence that their plans for decarbonisation were credible and genuinely aligned to the Paris Agreement’s 1.5C pathway. It stated that it would assess their emissions trajectories with the assistance of the Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI).
On 22 June 2023, the Commissioners excluded all remaining oil and gas firms from its portfolio after concluding that none had plans aligned with 1.5C. To see the full article click here.
Three more Bronze Awards
Congratulations to St Anne's Coventry, St Margaret of Antioch Coventry and St Nicholas Loxley on your new Eco Church Bronze Awards! To date (12th September 2023) we have 50 Bronze, 11 Silver and one Gold in the Diocese. The number of Diocese of Coventry churches that have registered with Eco Church is 92 to date (12th September 2023)! For further information on Eco Church, go to our Eco Church page.
CofE Heating Guidance
The next two sections of heating guidance are now live on the heating guidance page of the website Heating | The Church of England:
- Section nine : Heating Costs and Funding - https://www.churchofengland.org/media/30313
- Section ten - Temporary Heating Options - https://www.churchofengland.org/media/30314
Christian Rural and Environmental Studies (CRES)
CRES, a John Ray Initiative distance learning course run jointly with A Rocha UK, is now open for admissions in 2023. If you would like to join the course, or know someone who might benefit from it then the place to start is HERE.
A first for the Church of England
St Martin's Finham have installed solar panels mounted outside their church hall on the Cornish Rocker system, which allows adjustment of the angle of panels according to the season to maximise the amount of solar energy captured.
Below: Panels in winter orientation Below right: Panels being adjusted to summer from winter orientation
THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND ROUTEMAP TO NET ZERO CARBON
The Routemap was launched on Thursday 23 June 2022 with a Press Release and details can be found here: https://www.churchofengland.org/about/environment-and-climate-change/net-zero-carbon-routemap.
It is possible to reduce carbon emissions from nearly every building by relatively easy and cheap methods that reduce energy consumption, improve energy efficiency and make the building more comfortable. Eliminating all carbon emissions from a building is more challenging and costly, although it can be done with existing technologies. The Routemap therefore prioritises identifying high energy-consuming, high carbon-emitting buildings, and developing plans to tackle carbon emissions from them.
We do hope that more churches will manage to complete entering 2022 data when next year's entry opens in spring 2023. Please ensure that your PCCs, Church Treasurers and Churchwardens know about this then and ensure that they submit your 2022 data alongside your Parish Returns.
This is a vital tool in our journey to achieving Net Zero Carbon as a Diocese by 2030. Please do use this excellent resource. To help you complete this this year, we provided information at https://www.coventry.anglican.org/info-for-parishes/energy-footprint-tool/ Well done those churches that completed the 2021 data and met the July 2022 deadline' we had over a 60% completion rate, one of the higher Diocesan completion rates!
IS CARBON OFFSETTING GREENWASHING?
Following a recent article in the Guardian which looks at the way many companies provide carbon offsets that are worthless, read Caroline Pomeroy's articla at https://jri.org.uk/carbon-offsetting-the-new-goldrush/ to see how the Christian charity Climate Stewards aims to offset well and ethically. Caroline is the Director of Climate Stewards.
NEW REPORT ON HEATED CUSHIONS:
Marown Parish Church (Diocese of Sodor and Man) have been successfully piloting a new approach to heating; rechargable heated cushions; for information, see https://www.churchofengland.org/about/environment-and-climate-change/towards-net-zero-carbon-case-studies/marown-church-tries-new
Hydrogen, a viable solution?
Will Hydrogen be a viable solution as we work towards Net Zero Carbon? Do listen to the recent BBC programme on BBC Sounds: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/w3ct4wcy
Net Carbon Zero by 2030:
Carbon Dioxide Reduction Project Advice: Phil Hemsley, a member of the Church Energy Advisory Network, who coordinated the installation of solar pv panels at St George's Rugby has produced an advice sheet on Carbon Dioxide Reduction.
INTERESTED IN ECO CHURCH?
Have a go at filling in the survey questions at https://ecochurch.arocha.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Eco-Church-Survey-v2-January-2018.pdf.. You're probably almost at Bronze already! Now why not sign on? If you are registered as an Eco Church or are about to register, please look at the website (https://ecochurch.arocha.org.uk/) and go to the Registration and Login page. The website will allow your Eco Church coordinator AND other members of your Eco Church team to sign in.
WORRIED ABOUT HEATWAVES? OR REALLY COLD SNAPS?
"I'm only a kid; I can't do anything about climate change, right?" Is the planet really warming? Is this due to humans? Canadian climatologist Katherine Hayhoe suggests what you could do in this 17-minute TED talk HERE. Also see Church of England webinars on the Climate-resilient Church HERE. What does it mean to be a 'climate resilient church'?
RECEIVE THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAMME NEWS FROM https://www.churchofengland.org/about/environment-and-climate-change/environment-programme-news
Operation Noah hosted a webinar launching the report ‘Church Investment in Climate Solutions: Financing a Liveable Future’ on Tuesday 22 November from 7pm-8.30pm.
UPDATED: Church of England website page on Eco Church at https://www.churchofengland.org/more/policy-and-thinking/our-views/environment-and-climate-change/eco-church.
Creationtide Resources from the Diocese of Exeter, including ecumenical resources: https://mcusercontent.com/543e9623f7379d75d88235209/files/5d8b6330-cdb7-4254-af05-a8d0ef582177/Creationtide_edit.pdf
'A practical path to 'net zero carbon for our churches' has been published by the Cathedrals & Church Buildings Division of the CofE and can be found at https://www.churchofengland.org/resources/churchcare/net-zero-carbon-church/practical-path-net-zero-carbon-churches. Download the excellent Checklist to see what you can do to improve your church's performance: https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2021-01/PP2NZC_SelfGuidedChecklist_onscreen_version.pdf
Climate Stewards are delighted to announce that their new church carbon footprint calculator https://360carbon.org is now live. 360carbon is free to use and is designed to work for all church denominations. It will soon be linked from the Eco Church website so that churches are asked to use it to measure their carbon footprint as part of their qualification for an award.
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Do consider signing up for next year's Christian Rural and Environmental Studies Certificate course
BBC: Climate Check, the latest data behind our climate and weather at https://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/features/51879358
Our DEG Resources page: do look at this as there is much useful information there for clergy, readers and laity alike. Perhaps even some ideas for birthday presents!
For News items from 2021 and earlier, go to the News Archive page
Churches Count on Nature
For Churches Count oin Nature 2023, visit https://www.caringforgodsacre.org.uk/get-involved/love-your-burial-ground-week/.
For information about what happened in CCoN, look at the following:
- Information page https://www.caringforgodsacre.org.uk/get-involved/love-your-burial-ground-week/
- Events that took place in Warwickshire, see https://www.caringforgodsacre.org.uk/submission_county/warwickshire/ and in Coventry, at Stoke St Michael's and St Laurence's, see https://www.caringforgodsacre.org.uk/submission_county/west-midlands/
- FAQs: https://www.caringforgodsacre.org.uk/get-involved/love-your-burial-ground-week/churches-count-on-nature-faqs/
- Resources: https://www.caringforgodsacre.org.uk/get-involved/resources-for-love-your-burial-ground-churches-count-on-nature-week/
- Press release: Parishes prepare for mass ‘citizen science’ biodiversity events after huge success of last year’s Churches Count on Nature | The Church of England
Come to the CofE webinars, "'Knowing your ant from your elder' Why and how to record during Churches Count on Nature". Recordings of these and other 2022 webinars, together with the CCoN 2021 webinars can be found at: https://www.churchofengland.org/about/environment-and-climate-change/webinars-land-and-nature-churches-count-nature
Report from the Warwickshire Biological Recorders Meeting 11/3/23
Below are notes from a selection of the talks, that could be of relevance for Eco Churches to know about and possibly engage with.
Butterfly Conservation: Mike Slater and Keith Warmington have written a book ‘Conserving Butterflies – the Warwickshire Approach’. This might be useful to anyone planning to manage land for Butterflies. It is priced £40. It was available on the day for £25 cash, and I assume can now be purchased via Butterfly Conservation.
Insects of Abbey Fields, Kenilworth: Steven Falk spoke about the insect Survey that he did in Abbey Fields during 2021. The results can be found on the Friends of Abbey Fields website: https://www.friendsofabbeyfields.org.uk/insects-in-abbey-fields-2/
City Nature Challenge - 28th April- 1st May: This is a global event, merging a bioblitz with an element of competition. It started in 2016 as a competition between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Coventry entered last year, and this year Warwickshire has also entered. ‘City’ is determined as a place where people live as opposed to wild/wilderness areas. To take part there will be some organised events (especially in Coventry) but people can participate as individuals as well. Sightings are photographed and logged on i naturalist and, during that time, will automatically be assigned to the area where they were taken.
Heart of England Forest: Bioblitz in Noleham and Giddings Wood 30th June- 1st July, everyone welcome to take part.
Warwickshire Bat Group: They have bat detectors that are put in place for 7-10 days. This has helped to identify some interesting bats. They would be interested in hearing from anyone who lives in north or south east Warwickshire who would be willing to allow one of these trackers in their home or other premise. Website - https://www.warksbats.co.uk/aboutus/home.aspx
Warwickshire Mammal Group: Interested in any owl pellets that people can collect. Send to them with a grid reference of where it is found. Email - email@example.com Website https://warksmammalgroup.wixsite.com/warks-mammal-group
Foundry Wood in Leamington Spa: They have obtained a 15 lease on some extra land which is old sidings. The area is not open to the public for free access in order not to disturb the wildlife, but can be visited on open days etc.
Warwickshire Fungus group: Now have a website. A series of field meetings take place, mainly in the autumn and winter on Sunday mornings. Beginners are welcome. Website - http://wfg.hedgeline.org/wmsTitleImage.jpg
Bird recording: Please use Birdtrack to record birds.
SIGN ON FOR NET ZERO CARBON WEBINARS at https://www.churchofengland.org/more/policy-and-thinking/our-views/environment-and-climate-change/webinars-getting-net-zero-carbon
WHAT IS THE SEASON OF CREATION?
The Season of Creation was the period in the annual church calendar, from 1st September to 4th October, dedicated to God as Creator and Sustainer of all life. With Harvest Festivals falling in this season, this is a time of the year to give thanks for God's good gifts of creation.
A time to lament the destruction we see happening round the world, and to reflect on what role we might play in creation care. This year we were invited to listen to the voice of creation, the voice of those who are suffering the impacts of climate change, the voice of people who hold generational wisdom about how to live gratefully within the limits of the land. Many churches chose to use this time of the year to hold special services and events to give thanks for God’s gift of creation, and to renew their commitment to caring for our one planet home. For details , see https://www.churchofengland.org/about/environment-and-climate-change/season-creation#na. To see what was involved, download the Celebration Guide for 2022 and plan to join in next year.
Warwickshire Wildlife Trust's Sherbourne Valley Project is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and was launched on 10th August 2020. Match funding for the Development Phase of this scheme was provided by Coventry City Council, the Environment Agency, Severn Trent, Citizen Housing and Diocese of Coventry (Diocesan Environment Group). Collaborating with those partners and others including Historic Coventry and City of Culture, Warwickshire Wildlife Trust have been working with local people to enhance the area for the benefit of wildlife and people and helping people to improve, interpret, share and celebrate all aspects of the river’s heritage.
The SVP has now started its four-year Delivery Phase and we are now participating as Sherbourne Valley Churches. The Diocesan Environment Officer has now handed over his place on the SVP Board to Jan Clemons, Eco Deacon of Hearsall Baptist Church. Participation with Sherbourne Valley Churches is an opportunity for members of churches in the watershed to demonstrate their Community and Global Engagement (see pp. 7-8 of the Eco Church Survey). For further information, see http://www.dioceseofcoventry.org/DEG/DEG_campaign If you would like further information or to be involved, please email the Diocesan Environment Officer at Godfrey.Armitage@covcofe.org.
View some of the excellent talks given at the online St Alban's Diocese regional Eco Church Conference, on Saturday 10th October at https://www.facebook.com/ecochurchcon/
Operation Noah reports that 'one of the Church of England’s three National Investing Bodies, which is managed by investment management company CCLA, has recently sold its last remaining shares in fossil fuel companies.' For further details and to see the Diocese of Coventry's role, visit https://brightnow.org.uk/news/church-of-england-fund-ccla-exits-fossil-fuel-investments/ The Diocese of Coventry is now in Operation Noah's Green category.
Church of England sets 2030 Net Zero carbon target (12th February 2020): For details go to our page on Climate Change and our Carbon Footprint. The Church of England’s General Synod has set new targets for all parts of the church to work to become carbon ‘net zero’ by 2030. At its February 2020 meeting, members voted in favour of a revised date encouraging all parts of the Church of England to take action and ramp-up efforts to reduce emissions.
Dr James Dyke: Why should we care about future generations? Essential YouTube viewing! How the way we live is like a glorified climatic Ponzi scheme at the expense of the grandchildren.