We are delighted to announce that the Diocese of Gloucester has achieved the Bronze Level Eco Diocese Award from A Rocha.
It’s part of our broader commitment to become a net zero-carbon diocese by 2030 and is just one step on the way to making that goal a reality.
We could never have achieved this without commitment and dedication from all the parishes, benefices, schools and worshipping communities who have also committed themselves to reducing their carbon footprint and working with us to care for God’s creation.
So what did we have to do to achieve this award?
- We produced an Environment Policy (draft with minor revisions to be ratified shortly), which will be updated annually, putting care for God’s creation at the core of all that we do.
- 10 percent of our local churches have signed up to the Eco Church Award and 5 percent have achieved at least Bronze level.
- We’ve looked at the central offices and how we can make what we do there more environmentally sustainable.
- We’re making sure that we commit to sharing the importance of care for the environment and planning it into our training programmes.
- Our investments have been examined to ensure that they are guided by the recommendations of the Ethical Investment Advisory Group.
- We’re working with other faith groups and community groups to promote care for the environment.
- And best of all, we’re sharing your stories of all the amazing initiatives that you’re putting in place in your local areas.
So what happens next?
Cate Williams, diocesan Environmental Engagement Officer said, “This is a significant milestone for us as a Diocese as we increasingly take environmental concerns seriously as core to living out our Christian faith. It is good to celebrate all that has already happened, in many of our local churches as well as centrally, in order to achieve this Diocesan bronze Eco Church award.
“We are not however stopping here. Recognising the significance of the environmental crisis as well as the biblical priority to care for God’s creation, we have set ourselves two significant goals: Eco Church silver award by the end of 2022, and Diocesan carbon net zero by 2030. We will be working hard on the central office challenges that this will bring, and encourage all churches to take the next steps too. In terms of Eco Church this is about either getting started or working towards the next award. The net zero goal, fits alongside the ‘buildings’ heading of Eco Church – the first step for all churches is to fill in the Energy Footprint Tool as part of the parish return.
“A huge thank you to all for engaging with this priority, for the sake of all God’s creation.”
How can I get involved?
Want to be a part of it? We are running a regular programme of zoom seminars about Eco Church, with more EcoChurch information, links and tips on our Environment page. The EcoChurch website is where you need to sign up to get started.