Caring for Creation
Our Eco Journey
Responding to climate change is an essential part of our Christian responsibility to safeguard God's creation, in our own lives and in the life of our churches.
The Church of England has set new targets for all areas of church work to become ‘net zero carbon' by 2030 and has embarked on an environment programme to put in place the actions needed to achieve this target - across all Diocese. Amazing work is already taking place in churches across the country but the support of every parish is needed if it is to be successful.
Our first ever Green Fair on Saturday 9 September was a great success and we give our thanks to all who took part and supported our efforts to raise awareness of the need to live more sustainably. See some of the highlights here
The Journey So Far
A Rocha UK is Britain's only Christian conservation charity providing scientific research, and environmental education. They focus on delivering practical local community-based action through all our country’s churches.
A Rocha is a global organisation, which started in Portugal in 1983, and has now spread around the world as a Christian response to climate change. The name A Rocha is Portuguese for ‘The Rock’.
Committed to protecting God’s creation the organisation now involves thousands of people, of all ages and many faiths, in activities which introduce them to local and global environmental issues.
Net Zero Carbon
To become 'net zero carbon' we need to eliminate as many carbon emissions as possible and offset those that cannot be completely eliminated, by investing in projects that actively remove carbon from the atmosphere - primarily reforestation.
To see the scale of the task we face we need to know our current carbon footprint* and then take appropriate actions to minimise it.
The carbon footprint for the parish includes the carbon emissions associated with its buildings and the activities related to the work of its churches. We are now committed to determining what that footprint is and taking actions to minimise it as agreed in our Environmental Policy.
* A carbon footprint is the total greenhouse gas emissions caused by an individual, event, organization, service, or product, expressed as carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e).
"The greatest threat to our planet
is the belief that someone else will save it."
Robert Charles Swan
Steps On Our
There have been a lot of things that we have done to achieve the A Rocha Silver awards. These include;
Moving our gas to a carbon neutral supply.
Putting a recycling hub in All Hallows church.
Putting a 'bug hotel' in All Hallows churchyard (made from recycled materials).
Creating a wildlife friendly area and community orchard in the churchyard at St Mary Magdalene.
Contributing to the planting of trees in the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust Wood at Stainforth near Settle.
Moving to eco-friendly cleaning equipment in church and using compostable disposable crockery.
Fitting pews with cushions made from an eco fabric, to help our congregation feel a little warmer.
Including regular eco articles in our bimonthly Village News magazine.
We now collect, batteries, crisp packets, toothpaste tubes, inkjet cartridges and stamps for recycling in All Hallows. This is done in partnership with our neighbourhood schools and 'Boston Spa and Villages Green Group’.
The church is open during the day so our wider community can leave items at any time, it’s not just for our Sunday congregations.
The recycling of crisp packets and batteries is being done in partnership with our neighbourhood schools so in this way we are reaching out to our local children and our community.
Climate and Biodiversity Concerns
Our planet is facing a dual threat, from dramatic changes in the climate and biodiversity loss. Both, according to scientists the world over, as a result of human activity over the last 150 years.
To stop 'runaway' climate change, we must limit the increase in global heating, currently being experienced, to 1.5°C. Climate change is already affecting our weather and in turn our natural world, which will affect all our lives if it remains unchecked.
The solution is to stop producing greenhouse gas emissions, primarily carbon dioxide and switch to a net zero carbon lifestyle. That means reducing the energy we use in our buildings; switching to renewable energy supply; travelling more sustainably; changing our diet to reduce meat consumption and investing in the restoration of our forests and peatlands.
Biodiversity loss also needs to be addressed by restoring lost habitats and changing the way we interact with the natural world.
A Personal Commitment
The average annual carbon footprint for someone living in the UK is 9 tonnes of CO2e, more than double the global average.
If the limit of 1.5°C increase in global heating is to be realised everyone must contribute - at home, at work, in the way we travel, the products and services we buy, in all aspects of life. As stewards of our environment it is our responsibility to protect it by learning to live in sustainable ways, which care for the future of our natural world.
You can act now by taking these ten Environment Pledges and by finding out more about climate change and what you can do to reach a 'net zero carbon' lifestyle.
"Reducing the causes of climate change is essential to the life of faith. It is a way to love our neighbour and to steward the gift of creation."
Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury