Environmental action

Bishop Gavin talks happily to two farmers in a field of tall grass
Responding to the environmental crises facing our planet

Since Diocesan Synod declared a climate emergency in March 2020, our Environment Task Group (ETG) is overseeing an ambitious programme of change, and we’re investing over £200,000 over seven years on a carbon footprint reduction programme across our church buildings.

As Christians, we're called to care for God's creation, and the climate issues facing our planet are hugely important to us. You can watch a series of videos from Bishop Olivia on why we should care for creation at all levels in the Church.

EcoHub

The EcoHub is your one-stop shop for information, practical advice and theological reflection on how we can best care for God’s creation. Each zone walks you through a different stage of climate action - or you can browse all of the resources to find exactly what you're looking for.

Visit the EcoHub now.

Greenshoots Network

Are you helping your church take environmental action? Would you like to connect with others doing the same, for mutual support and information sharing? Join our Greenshoots Network email group if so. Let us know you'd like to join by emailing usWe have monthly online get togethers and occasional in person gatherings. Further details will be provided when you join the network.

Read the latest newsletter issues

Subscribe to our Care for Creation newsletter

We join in on the @oxforddiocese Twitter feed with #GreenMonday tweets, and there's also a Care for Creation Facebook group. If you need advice or have questions, get in touch with our team.

Exploring further

 

What can I do?
Getting started

If you’re just starting your care for creation journey, explore our EcoHub resources to learn how to lower the impact your church has on our environment.

Visit the EcoHub

We would like to encourage all churches to register with A Rocha UK’s Eco Church scheme. It's a great way to engage your whole congregation in care for creation. ​​​​​This map shows registered churches in our diocese and also those that have taken part in our subsidised energy audit programme. Let us know when your church has registered or gains an Eco Church award and we can add it to the map.

Going deeper

If you're interested in more in-depth learning, we're developing new tools that help parishes engage, act and share with each other. Such as, working with the Climate Action Unit of University College London to pilot the InSpire Programme, to help participants understand the diversity of opinions of what constitutes meaningful climate action, equip them with an understanding of the challenges, and enable them to develop their own approaches and provide practical tools to engage their communities.

There are a number of Continuing Ministerial Development (CMD) courses being developed.

We're also putting together a network of churches who can champion and support each other on the journey to net zero. If you would like to be involved, let us know!

Reaching net zero
Our goals

The diocese is aiming to reach 'net zero' - the point at which we are no longer contributing to climate change. We've got two goals: the national Church of England 2030 net-zero carbon goals, which cover buildings and transport, and our wider diocesan goal of reaching net zero in full by 2035.

Everyone has a part to play. We offer advice on simple starting places for indivduals and churches via our EcoHub. Also see the pages below on church energy audits, energy options and biodiversity. 

How you can help

The first step is to stand up and be counted! We need your church to help by completing the Energy Footprint Tool on the C of E Parish Returns website. If you can't access this, please use the Word form instead. If you can't answer all the questions, don't worry just do those you can. The most helpful for us are the energy bill details, the hours of use for the building/s and the travel expenses claims. Thank you!

What we're doing at Church House

The diocese has taken a lead on calling for divestment and disinvesting from fossil fuels.

Church House Oxford is powered by renewable electricity, and we have a Staff Green Group always looking at ways of minimising our office environmental footprint, minimising waste, providing more recycling opportunities, increasing veggie or vegan menu options in the café, inviting colleagues to join in with climate campaigns such as as Great Big Green Week. We encourage more sustainable transport options, and all of our bishops drive electric or hybrid vehicles.

Children and young people
Be the Change

Schools, parishes and youth groups are invited to take part in Be the Change days. Hold days to Be Carbon Free, Be Vocal (to share messages with MPs), Be Plastic Free, and Be Glitter Free for Christmas (to reduce microplastic pollution).

YCCN Relay to COP26

The Relay to COP26 was a youth-led initiative to raise awareness of climate justice. We are grateful many of our parishes were able to give support as it passed through the diocese during the summer of 2021. Here we recorded the Relay's progress through our diocese.

Eco Youth Forum 

The Bishop of Reading invited people aged 13-18 to a conversation exploring faith, justice and the environmental crises. It was a valuable opportunity for the views of young people to be heard. If your youth group would like to join in with future events, do get in touch.


Hope4Creation

Have fun, walk in nature and share together in learning and talking about creation, God and us. 

Find out more...


 

Other resources in this section...


Be the Change
Be the Change provides resources to raise awareness and promote classroom activity around climate and our environment.

Energy audits
Arrange a subsidised energy audit to inform efforts to reduce your church carbon footprint.

Switch your church to green electricity
Information on switching a church to green electricity, including details of the Big Clean Switch.

Your church and woodfuel
Information on biomass boilers which are one option by which churches may reduce their carbon footprint.

Your church and solar PV
Information on solar PV potentially offers churches a way to reduce their energy bills and carbon footprint.

Your church and heat pumps
Information on use of heat pumps for churches, when combined with renewable energy this can reduce your carbon footprint.

Swifts and churches
Information on swifts and church buildings, with advice on what to look for and what to do if you find swifts in your church.

Supporting biodiversity in a churchyard
Information on supporting biodiversity in a churchyard or church garden and programmes to get involved in.