Caring for Creation
“It is our sacred duty to protect the natural world we’ve so generously been given, as well as our neighbours around the world who will be first and worst affected. Without swift decisive action the consequences of climate change will be devastating.” Archbishop Justin Welby
An Eco Church
St Wulfran’s is blessed in its location, nestled in the South Downs National Park, close to the sea and located in the UNESCO Brighton & Lewes Downs Biosphere area. The church also has some incredibly beautiful natural areas it takes care of, including our historic churchyards, our woodland and Daphne’s Field with its wildflower meadow.
We are passionate about taking care of the environment and as a worshiping community we are very concerned about the climatic and broader environmental crisis facing our planet.
We understand all creation as a gift from God and is a blessing of goodness with its own value and purpose. We believe the call for justice and the reestablishment of God’s original order is a central message of the Good News of Jesus Christ. As Christians we are being called to establish the Kingdom of God, to re-establish a harmonious relationship with both God and creation, where social and ecological justice are linked and realised together.
In February the Church of England General Synod passed a resolution recognising that ‘The global climate emergency is a crisis for God’s creation, and a fundamental injustice’ and it called upon all parts of the Church of England, including parishes to work and achieve year-on-year reductions in emissions and urgently examine what would be required to reach net zero emissions by 2030.
In response to this call we have developed our Environmental Policy with 10 key commitments (link) including our commitment to achieve Eco Church status. Read it HERE.
See our Eco Church page to find out more: https://stwulfrans.org.uk/eco-church-2
Sources of Help & Guidance
The church is undertaking various actions to reduce its carbon footprint and help protect the environment. As part of the Eco Church approach, we are also inviting members of St Wulfran’s church to consider how we can all play a part in caring for creation.
Here are some areas you might like to think about and explore further:
One of the ways we can better understand our personal impact on the environment is through a Carbon Footprint Audit. The Worldwide Fund for Nature Conservation has a very quick and helpful calculator. If you clink on the result rings at the end you get tips on how you can improve your score. https://footprint.wwf.org.uk/#/ If you would like to undertake a more detailed calculation, this Carbon Footprint Calculator is very comprehensive: https://www.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx
Getting about and coming to church
Cars unfortunately add to many of the environmental problems facing the world. If you are able, can you think of journeys you are taking where you could instead of driving, walk, cycle more or perhaps take the bus?
We can make a big impact on our carbon footprint by looking at our gas and electricity bills. Lagging the loft, putting in cavity wall insulation, using low energy light bulbs and changing to double glazing all make a big difference. Grants are often available for these kinds of works plus other actions such as solar panels and changing to low carbon central heating systems. The Energy Saving Trust has lots of information on this: https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/ We can also make a big difference by changing our energy supplies to renewal sources, either by contacting your existing provider or moving to a new one. This should not cost anymore and may in fact save you money.The Energy Saving Trust has lots of information on this: https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/advice/switching-your-energy-supplier/
Another action we can take to reduce our carbon footprint and help protect to the environment is purchase food and products that are LOAF (Locally grown, Organic, Animal-friendly, Fairtrade). Brighton and Hove is lucky to have an excellent Food Partnership that has lots of ideas and suggestions around eating lower carbon food and reducing waste: https://bhfood.org.uk/. Some top tips on eating better for the planet can be found here,
At St Wulfran’s we try to buy and use produce that is Fairtade. Fairtrade is a system of certification that aims to ensure a set of standards are met in the production and supply of a product or ingredient. For farmers and workers, Fairtrade means workers’ rights, safer working conditions and fairer pay. For shoppers it means high quality, ethically produced products. Choosing Fairtrade means standing with farmers for fairness and equality, against some of the biggest challenges the world faces. It means farmers creating change, from investing in climate friendly farming techniques to developing women in leadership. Look out for products at the supermarket with the Fairtrade label and find out more here: https://www.fairtrade.org.uk/
Ethical Investments: How we invest, save and use our money has a huge impact on the environment. The Ethical Consumer Trust has useful website that provides guidance on a range of topics including investments, travel and fashion. This page provides some helpful guidance on High Street Banking: https://www.ethicalconsumer.org/money-finance/shopping-guide/current-accounts
Carbon Offsetting: Some people also seek to offset their carbon emissions by ‘offsetting’ their contributions, for example by planting trees or investing in sustainable energy projects. The pros and cons of this option are discussed in this article and include some of the better offsetting programme available: https://ethical.net/climate-crisis/carbon-offsetting-companies-compared/
Community Energy Ovingdean (CEO) was set up in 2022 by a group of residents in Ovingdean, Brighton who want their village to become zero carbon by 2030.
The group is working to support change in Ovingdean to community-owned renewable energy systems for public and private use, helping homeowners to make their homes energy efficient, and creating opportunities for residents to make the shift away from fossil fuels.
If you would like more information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org