Our work within the Diocese complements The Church of England Environment Programme which has its focus on care for creation a major aspect of which is responding to the effects of human-induced climate change.
Eco Diocese is an initiative to encourage diocesan-level engagement with the Eco Church programme and encourage local church participation in the scheme. It is organised by the Christian charity A Rocha UK, which works to protect and restore the natural world.
Status as an Eco Diocese is achieved through a range of criteria. These criteria include gaining appropriate levels of church registrations and awards for Eco Church. As such we encourage all churches across the diocese to join the Eco Church scheme. Diocesan House received a bronze Eco Church award in 2020.
Canterbury Diocese achieved a bronze Eco Diocese award in 2020 and is now working towards a silver award.
Routemap to net zero Carbon
The Routemap to Net Zero Carbon is the Church of England’s plan of action for achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030. Following a consultation that included all dioceses, the Routemap was approved by General Synod in July 2022. Canterbury Diocese is committed to following this national Routemap and is working towards the milestones with churches and schools to achieve net zero emissions in our buildings (churches, halls, schools, clergy housing and offices) and work-related travel. The two-page ‘Practical path to net zero’ summarises the scope of our work to achieve net zero carbon in our churches.
Environment Working Group
The Environment Working Group (EWG), which is chaired by the Diocesan Environmental Officer, is made up of individuals drawn from clergy, diocesan staff and environmental partners. Its purpose is to assist with pursuing Eco Diocese status and advise on achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030. It works closely with Rochester Diocese and representatives are included in the group. The EWG meets quarterly and, among its activities, organises conferences, forums, webinars and other events to raise awareness about environmental issues.
We are establishing a group of Eco Champions (one of more per each of our 15 deaneries) to help promote creation care.
This network of Eco Champions will be supported by the Diocesan Environmental Officer and will:
- encourage churches to care for creation and engage with the Eco Church scheme
- encourage sharing of good practice between churches within the deanery
- encourage PCCs to include the environment on their meeting agendas and to plan how they might reach net zero emissions
- help disseminate the facts about the environmental crisis and raise awareness of learning opportunities
- network with the Diocesan Environmental Officer and other Eco Champions in the diocese, sharing information and experience
- feedback information to the Diocesan Environmental Officer
Requiem for extinct species
The Diocese of Canterbury was a founding member of the European Green Pilgrimage Network (GPN), a global network of pilgrim cities and other sites which are sacred to many different religious traditions. More information can be found on the European Green Pilgrimage Network website.
We regularly speak about environmental issues and report progress on our Environment and Climate Emergency motion at Diocesan Synod.
See Environment Officer Teresa Redfern speaking at Canterbury Diocesan Synod in March 2019.