As a church we have pledged to do all we can to reduce our “carbon footprint” and promote greater awareness of environmental issues.
We pledge to:
1. Introduce regular “Green Top Tips” in newsletters and communications.
2. Through a recent environmental audit reduce the impact our building has on the environment .
3. Use low energy lighting and reduce emissions from our heating system.
4. Use local suppliers for church events to reduce transport costs and emissions.
5. Reduce water consumption.
6. Re-cycle all waste where ever possible.
A Rocha Eco Award
Our church has gained the Silver Award for it’s environmental credentials. But for the fact that the church building has absolutely no insulation we could have gained the gold award as we made really good progress in all other aspects of the award scheme. We review our progress annually to make sure we maintain our efforts to have as little detrimental impact on the environment as possible.
IPCC Report November 2018
The United Nations International Panel on Climate Change has recently given a stark warning that world wide efforts to reduce carbon emissions are not on track to prevent global warming passing 1.5 degrees by 2035. We are already seeing ever greater changes in the worlds’ climate, more frequent extreme weather events and continuing melting of polar ice caps. Even our own Government’s Climate Change Committee has reported that towards the end of this century low lying coastal communities are at severe risk of flooding from rising sea levels.
They go on to state that it is no longer up to governments to take action, we as individuals must do more. Less meat (its production so often relies on soya bean feed grown in Amazonian rain forests which are so important in capturing carbon), fly less (jet plane emissions at high altitudes are frighteningly damaging to the atmosphere) travel less (and make our next car an electric one to reduce the emissions from petrol and diesel) and rely on renewable energy so carbon fuels can be left in the ground. Politicians are constantly seek greater economic growth, greater wealth for already wealthy nations and votes. WE ALL NEED TO LIVE MORE SIMPLY IN ORDER THAT OTHERS MAY SIMPLY LIVE.
As Christians we are but guardians of a beautiful but fragile world God has given us. We are not being good caretakers.
The U.N. Climate Conference in Poland have reached agreement on how to implement the 2015 Paris Climate Accord. A system of how to report the progress each country is making in reducing their carbon emissions has been reached though there are those who still say it is too little too late to prevent continuing rises in global temperatures.
“Is there any point in going to school if the world is going to die?”
Greta Thunberg is a 16 year old Swedish student who greatly cares about climate change and lack of global response. She began to strike for the climate each Friday by protesting outside Sweden’s parliament buildings. At first she received little attention but her persistence paid off. Now other students are joining in the Friday school climate strikes. Last week 22,000 in Switzerland,30,000 in cities across Germany, 12,500 in Brussels and Greta has just spoken at the World Economic Forum in Davos. From little acorns great Oaks grow !!
According to the Guardian Newspaper on 15th March
- Over 24 hours of climate action, organisers of the climate strike believe more than 1 million students skipped school on Friday or protest government inaction on climate change.
- From Australia and New Zealand, to Asia, Europe, Africa, North America and South America, students from all over the world took to the streets to demand change.
- Organisers said there were more than 2,000 protests in 125 countries.
Skipping school, right or wrong? What do you think!
Accelerating Crisis, Accelerating Solutions (from A Rocha UK Eco Church website)
“February was the hottest since records began in the UK; ice-cream vans came out at the seaside. The UN released terrifying research on the global decline of biodiversity and its implications for future food supply. Also in February, there were wildfires on the usually wet and chilly Yorkshire moors. In March, a whale washed up in the Philippines, was found to have died of hunger from eating the dozens of plastic sacks still in its stomach. In Southern Africa monster cyclone, Idai, combined with deforestation to produce whole-scale death and destruction by flooding. Back in the UK, new research suggested that the government figure of 40,000 premature deaths a year from air pollution is a considerable underestimate.”
We really are facing a climate crisis yet our Government, locked into arguments over BRIXIT seem to be giving little thought about longer term issues which need more action NOW. How are we as Christians needing to respond? It is not human nature to be proactive but if we wait until we have to be reactive to global warming it will be too late.
The U.K. Government has announced there is a Climate Emergency, and across the country, including in Shropshire, Town and County Councils are declaring the same. It will be interesting to see if these words are followed by real and meaningful action.
Good news that the Government have decided we need a zero carbon target by 2050. Many say this is not soon enough but it is a start. 50 M.P’s have now supported the notion that land based wind, which is by far the cheapest form of renewable energy should be encouraged. A zero carbon target will be difficult but not impossible to achieve and will mean phasing out gas heating and cooking.
Local Tetra Pack recycling points have been removed by Shropshire Council so as a church we have decided to act as a collection point for our congregation, with a member who regularly goes to Craven Arms taking them to the recycling centre. The alternative was either adding them to our black bins for incineration or lots of car trips – all additional pollution. (Church members have responded well to the Tetra Pack collection idea and the box in having to be emptied regularly.)
At a recent meeting Church Stretton Town Council declared a “Climate Emergency” and a small task force have been given the task of putting together a plan to help the Council reduce their carbon footprint.
One of the areas for discussion at the September District Synod is the A Rocha Eco Church project. Our church, who are one of only a few Methodist Churches in the District to have become involved in the project has been asked to make a presentation on our journey to achieving the Silver award. Let’s hope other churches will take up the challenge….. after all there is a “climate emergency.”
Good News. At Synod it was agreed that all churches in the District should look at becoming an Eco Church and the target for 10% of churches in each Circuit gaining at least bronze status within one year was set.
22nd September. The Hereford Diocese have just signed up to the the Eco Church project, also with the target of 10% of Anglican Churches in the Diocese gaining Bronze Award status within one year.
October. You may or may not agree with the climate strikes which are happening across the world but without doubt, the younger generations are boldly letting us know how concerned they are at the lack of action by Governments to put in place the ever more urgent action to reduce carbon emissions. Ask yourself the question – what are you doing as a Christian to make a difference? When our church was working towards our Eco Church Awards, a small group was set up to help steer the church in the right direction. Since those days, so much has happened to increase concern about climate change and bio diversity. The purpose of the church ECO GROUP is to help raise awareness of the actions we as Christians should be taking.
We have just recalculated out church carbon footprint.
Gas 7.05 tonnes, Electricity 0.53 tonnes, Water .067 tonnes. TOTAL 7.647 tonnes
With a General Election announced, suddenly the Climate Emergency has climbed up the agenda. All main political parties are saying how real the emergency is and it must (after Brexit) be a matter of great importance. Interesting to note that polls are showing the climate is featuring more amongst the younger generations. They are the ones who will suffer when the older generations are no longer with us, BUT is that a poor excuse for the older ones not doing anything about it themselves?
With Methodist Church leaders yet again highlighting the climate crisis here are some suggestions as to how to enjoy a “greener Christmas”
- Try and source Christmas crackers without plastic gifts, quickly thrown away (why not make your own gifts.)
- Make sure your wrapping paper is recyclable.
- Your Christmas cards could be homemade using last years recycled ones.
- Make sure your Christmas gifts are not yet just more “stuff” which quickly gets discarded. Meaningful gifts like a donation to a homeless charity or a donation to “All WE CAN” to buy bees for a poor family in Bolivia will be just if not more meaningful to the recipient.
- Give some thought to the food you eat? Where it has come from and if meat based, how was it fattened up? Has your Christmas Dinner indirectly caused another tree to be felled in the Amazon to make space for yet more palm oil or soya to be grown?