Making your Parish green

Suggestions and ideas to help you reach your aims of reducing your parish's impact on the environment - how can you strive for a green parish?

icon-home » Our Work » Environment » Making your Parish green

The Church calls on us to consider our role and to question what we are each doing to protect the earth. It may not seem that we can do much but ‘the might of the ocean is made up of single drops of water’.

Whatever the degree of commitment to reducing our carbon footprints or considering the environment, everyone is interested in reducing their energy and water bills. Additionally local authorities are implementing rules which force us to consider our rubbish; the stuff we throw away; the items we no longer want.

What can I do to help?

To start with, you might want to measure your church’s carbon footprint and then measure it again in six months, 12 months and so on, to see the effect of your actions.

Check to see your diocese has an Environmental Policy or Statement. If  it does then you can use this as a guide to making changes in your local parish or church. There are many websites that give further advice on reducing energy consumption, water usage and waste.

When it comes to getting rid of things you don’t want, try to repair or mend them rather than throwing them away and buying replacements. If items can be reused by somebody else, donate them to your parish’s next bazaar, advertise them on your parish notice-board or join freecycle, a webiste for recycling unwanted but still in good repair items. If there’s no alternative but to throw stuff away, recycle as much as possible as landfill is the most expensive and ecologically unsound method of dealing with waste.

Ideas for making a green Parish

Below are some suggestions and ideas to help you reach your aims of reducing your parish’s impact on the environment. This list is just a starting point, consider other ideas too, there is always room for improvement!

  • Register for a Parish liveSimply award
  • Encourage parishioners to walk, use public transport, cycle or set up a car share scheme to come to church. Install bicycle racks at the church
  • When rebuilding or refurbishing church buildings, use eco-friendly materials and building techniques
  • Make the marriage and funeral services as eco friendly as possible
  • Change to a green electricity supplier
  • Use eco friendly cleaning materials in your church
  • Consider everything you buy and use in the parish and be aware of it’s impact on the environment whether through manufacturing, mining, deforestation or pollution.

Study Programmes
Paint the Church Green: A book enabling church groups to explore the relationship between faith and concern for the natural world
Between the Flood and the Rainbow: Resources looking at climate change and the Church’s Social Teaching

CAFOD Worship Resources: Examining themes of Environment, Harvest and Extractive Industries
Christian Ecology Link: Green Sermon Notes, daily and monthly Prayer Guides and liturgy materials for Creation Time and Harvest Festivals
Churches Together in Britain and Ireland: Creation Time material including prayers and discussion resources
European Christian Environmental Network: A liturgy section on their website