Environment policy sets out to celebrate Creation

A new environmental policy which pledges to “celebrate and affirm the dignity of Creation’ was presented to Southwell and Nottingham Diocesan Synod.

It set out a numbers of objectives:

To encourage individuals, churches and the diocese to cut their carbon footprints

To promote recycling and the responsible use of resources

To increase environmental awareness

Synod, which had gathered at St Saviour’s Church, Retford, for its final meeting of the year, was told that a Freedom of Creation Implementation group would need to be set up, comprising  two representatives from each deanery, to support the policy.

The report also recommended the calling of Deanery Moots, moot being old English for meeting.  These would include Green Champions, and be a forum for the sharing of stories and resources, and worship.

The report also commended the use of diocesan assets in the production of renewable energy such as wind turbines. This came only days after diocesan plans to build a turbine on land off the A606 near to Upper Broughton was turned down by Rushcliffe Borough Council planning officers.

Plans for another turbine, on farmland at Elston, are still to be determined.

Read the synod minutes

The report also supported the installation of solar on panels on churches, halls and parsonages, where appropriate.

The Edible Churchyards programme should also be supported, said the report, bringing people together to find local solutions to hunger and isolation. It also commended the Wildlife Churchyards initiative, which could be used to “find local solutions to the destruction of green spaces, plants and animals”.

Synod also approved the budge t for 2015, with total expenditure of £9,151,000, most of this on people costs.

In his address to Synod, Bishop Richard Inwood focused on justice, but justice infused with righteousness. He quoted from the prophet Amos (5:24): “Let justice roll down like the waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream”.

The Bishop said people should “be pleased with just verdicts and fitting sentences, but is that the end of the matter?” In the Christian tradition justice means much more.  It is often translated as righteousness in the New Testament, and goes beyond judgment and sentence – it is about acting justly and doing right in one’s life and in the community.