Why as christians we should act on climate change
Below are some statements, press coverage, sermons and other contributions from the Archbishop of Canterbury and the lead bishop on the environment Nicholas Holtam Bishop of Salisbury.
Below you can find some suggestions for environment themed services.
You might also find the extensive resources of the Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals (ASWA) of interest.
Creation Time resources
These resources, commended by the Church of England's Environment Task Group have been curated by Canon Vicky Johnson of Ely Cathedral and are designed to help churches who wish to celebrate and cherish God's gift to humanity in creation.
The Creationtide season runs from 1 September until 4 October every year.
The worship resources include:
• Material for Seasons and Festivals of the Agricultural Year from Common Worship: Times and Seasons, commended by the House of Bishops for use at the discretion of the minister available here.
• Resources for worship and prayer produced by the Environment Task Group available here.
• A series of liturgical resources, including collects, post-communion prayers, forms of intercession and additional material for the Eucharistic Prayer, produced for trial use by the Diocese of Guildford available here.
• A liturgy for All-Age Worship, produced by Canon Johnson while an incumbent in the Diocese of Manchester available here.
Status of Liturgies
The material for Creation in Common Worship: Times and Seasons (2006), produced by the Liturgical Commission of the Church of England, has been commended for use by the House of Bishops. The Commission writes, in Times and Seasons, that "these services offer an opportunity to come with 'proper humility before God as source of all things, [to offer] gratitude for his goodness, and [pray for] responsibility in stewarding the resources of the earth". (Times and Seasons, p.596).
The Liturgical Commission expressed renewed support for services reflecting on Creation in 2014.'
Background to Creationtide
Creationtide is a concept introduced by the late Ecumenical Patriarch, Demetrios I, 1989.
Since then, September 1 (chosen because it is first day of the Orthodox ecclesiastical year) has been adopted as the start of Creationtide. This is the season, running to St Francis day on October 4, when churches and congregations are called to pay special attention to the responsibility of humanity for the Earth and for all that lives upon it. Its start and end dates reflect that it is a shared idea between Western and Eastern Christianity.
Churches Together in Britain and Ireland adopted the concept in 2008. In 2016, Pope Francis declared 1 September an annual World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creationtide.
While its adoption was in part driven by the complex environmental crises the human race faces, Creationtide draws on much deeper roots in Scripture and in older Christian traditions of the relationship between God, humanity and the created order.
The timing of Creationtide means it is an excellent way of rooting traditional harvest festivals in wider issues and firm theological ground.
See below the map of Renewable Energy Systems across the Church of England.
Orange = Solar panels
Green = Renewable heat
Star = New for 2014
Starting out can be the most daunting part of any project. By the clicking the links, these steps will help you get underway with reducing your Church's Carbon Footprint and guide you through the Shrinking the Footprint Website.
1. Get informed on Climate Change facts and why action is important to us as christians. Communicate the information to your congregation and/or community at a service, in a notice sheet or hold an Environment themed event. Click here for worship resources and here for some inspiration from our short films. Look at other church projects. Here is another publication with ideas and inspiration.
2. Gather together an Environmental Working Group to take lead on environmental issues. Include those interested and those with Church Building responsibilities.
3. Start reducing your Carbon Footprint. It is important to first monitor your energy use to understand your starting point, try using our short walk round audit. Read your meters regularly, and understand how you use energy. Considering buying an electricity monitoring device – inexpensive, easy to use, and could help you save significantly on your energy bills.
Then create your Church's energy policy.
Chester dioceses' Environment Wheel is a great tool to help you consider what could be included in the policy. A Rocha's Eco Church survey is also a useful tool and gives you the chance to monitor your progress towards an award.
4. Progress through:
5. Implement renewable energy systems and keep up sustainable choices, churchyard management and efficient energy use, and become a church with a lower carbon footprint.
So get informed, gather a group, create a policy, progress through changes, implement new systems, and review/celebrate!
For more information and the latest news from Shrinking the Footprint, click on the links to your left.