Get involved
Eco Church and the Diocese of Coventry

The overarching initiative the DEG is supporting is the Eco Church project. Eco Church is an A Rocha UK award scheme for churches in England and Wales who want to demonstrate that the gospel is good news for God’s Earth. This programme will help us to address the challenges the Diocese set ourselves in our Diocesan Environmental Statement in 2009.

To celebrate the Centenary of the Diocese of Coventry in 2018, the Diocese has registered as an Eco Diocese and we are working towards a Bronze Award here.

To find out more about the Eco-Church project and to sign your church up, visit their website - http://ecochurch.arocha.org.uk/

Big Church Switch

Working with Tearfund and Christian Aid, the Big Church Switch supported more than 5,500 churches in switching to renewable energy. This figure includes the 1,878 parishes in the Parish Buying energy basket which is now 100% green. It has been estimated that this represents around £5 million diverted from fossil fuels to clean energy. Why not investigate this for your church?

Churchyard Management

Above: A bird-box building tean at St Andrew's, Eastern Green

Another focus of the DEG is supporting biodiversity in churchyards. In many urban areas the churchyard is the only green area in the community and in rural areas the churchyard can often be the only area of open land that has been untouched by chemical fertilizers. Therefore, the variety of plant and animal life in churchyards can be great if they are managed in such a way as to celebrate the diversity of life.

However, there can be conflict between those who wish to retain the churchyard as a tidy place of memorial and contemplation and those who wish to encourage wildlife. In response to this, the Diocesan Environment Group, in consultation with the Chancellor and Diocesan authorities have produced a Biodiversity Policy Statement which recognises churchyards as first and foremost spiritual places, places of solace and memorials, but which also have a role in enhancing God's creation.

To cut fuel costs and create a rich haven for wildlife the DEG advises leaving certain areas of the churchyard to be cut, and grass removed, once in the summer and, if needed, once again in October. In Coventry diocese, the churchyard of St Mary’s in Oldberrow is a perfect example of old unimproved neutral grassland. An annual ‘Wildflower Weekend’ is held at the church to inform visitors of the biodiversity of the churchyard and the churchyard hay cut is often a community event. Seeds from recent hay cuts at Oldberrow have been used to create new areas of biodiverse grassland. In 2017 and 2018, a number of churches took part in Cherishing Churchyards Month in June. We plan to repeat this in 2019

And for more information on churchyard management visit - http://www.caringforgodsacre.org.uk/images/uploads/new-action-pack/english/SECTION%20A%201.pdf

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Caring for God's Acre

Caring for God’s Acre is a non-religious Charity dedicated to conserving and celebrating burial grounds and encouraging a holistic approach to management. As well as being a place for people, burial grounds can also be a haven for wildlife. 

Click here to be connected to this campaign.

Cut down your Carbon Footprint

Photo: Open cast coal mine, Rocky Mountains, Canada (GNA, 1998)

Operation Noah is an ecumenical Christian charity providing leadership, focus and inspiration in response to the growing threat of catastrophic climate change; we have been developing a working relationship with Operation Noah to promote disinvestment and to promote investment in processes that increase carbon capture. Look at the website http://operationnoah.org/ for further details.

Does your church have investments in fossil fuel companies? Ever thought about moving your money somewhere that builds the world you want to live in? Operation Noah have produced a new resource to guide you through the process at http://brightnow.org.uk/resource/divest-church-new-resource-local-churches-available-now/ 

Working towards a net Zero Carbon Economy: You can save a lot of money for your church by making it more energy efficient. Change to LEDs as soon as possible; if you have to change one light bulb, consider upgrading the lot while the ladders are out! Cut draughts; suggest people sit away from big windows, if there is space elsewhere. Photovoltaics are becoming much less expensive and less obtrusive; keep an eye on this developing technology.

Check whether your church is paying VAT at just 5% for energy rather than the 20% rate which many churches are unwittingly paying. See https://fiec.org.uk/what-we-do/strand-blog/vat-on-gas-and-electricity

Join the Parish Buying Scheme: The Energy Basket uses the bulk buying power of the Church to obtain competitive prices for your gas and electricity. See https://www.parishbuying.org.uk/categories/energy/energy-basket for details.

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