Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham Environment (Caring for Creation) Policy
• caring for God’s creation is a Biblical mandate, a gospel imperative, and central to Christian mission.
• the Anglican Communion’s Fifth Mark of Mission commits us: “to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the Earth”.
• the priority of our Diocesan Growing Disciples Wider, Younger and Deeper Vision is to see whole life discipleship transform individuals, churches, the wider community and the whole of creation. This means we strive for a commitment to being advocates for human flourishing, through initiatives which combat injustice, environmental destruction, exclusion and isolation.
A Climate Emergency
We recognise that we are facing a climate and ecological emergency as a result of human impact which is a crisis for the whole of God’s creation.
• We note the Church of England General Synod’s has voted that the whole of the Church of England should achieve net-zero carbon by 2030. We commit this diocese to that target including the churches, schools, offices, houses and land for which we are responsible.
• We seek Eco Diocese accreditation. We use the Eco Diocese and Eco Church framework as the main basis for our practical actions on environmental issues. We encourage our parishes to use the advice and resources available from A Rocha UK and to seek Eco Church accreditations.
• The DBF takes account of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. We manage diocesan investments ethically (in line with the ethical policies of the Church of England national investing bodies) being guided on climate change by the recommendations of the Ethical Investment Advisory Group.
• We seek to manage our land to encourage sustainability, biodiversity and carbon reduction
• We embed Caring for Creation within our worship, teaching and discipleship work in churches, schools and lay and ministerial training.
• We work with a range of organisations on environmental issues to encourage greater environmental action
This policy will affect multiple aspects of mission and ministry throughout the diocese. The Caring for Creation Steering Group chaired by the Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham and the Working Group chaired by the Diocesan Environmental Officer will support and monitor its implementation, reporting to Bishop’s Council and Diocesan Synod annually.
The Caring for Creation Working Group, part of the Partnerships and Mission Department will;
• actively work with church schools under the guidance of the Education Team to promote ‘eco-schools’ through providing:
– a Caring for Creation Schools Policy.
– a baseline on school energy usage and supporting schools to become more energy efficient
– advice and support for creating an environment-rich curriculum which utilises outdoor learning, raises awareness and enables pupils to become ‘courageous advocates’ for the environment.
– a plan for the implementation of this policy
• work as appropriate with DBF staff, The Minster and local worshipping communities to promote the reduced of carbon footprint and environmental impact by:
– promoting renewable energy schemes, to, conserve energy and to avoid wasting resource
– encouraging PCCs and individuals to reduce their carbon footprint and offset all remaining emissions.
– promoting the implementation of a waste management hierarchy of prevention, reduction, reuse, recycling, energy recovery and safe disposal
• encourage the Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches to ensure that the environment is properly considered in the maintenance and development of churches and churchyards.
• work with the diocesan communications team to develop and implement a communications plan including the annual promotion of the Energy Footprint Tool.
• actively encourage PCCs to look for opportunities for wilding parts of their churchyards. For example promoting National Count for Nature in June.
• promote the recording and celebrating of individual environmental initiatives.
• work with the Director of Discipleship and Ministry to embed environmental concerns across the diocesan ministerial development programme including the Youth and Children’s Strategy.
• encourage all churches and deaneries to have a “Green Champion” to help in the implementation of this policy
• encourage the environmental management of the diocese’s property, including clergy and retired clergy housing, and glebe portfolio.
• Work with the Director of Finance on prioritising environmental issues in our financial decision-making
Caring for Creation Working Group March 2022