Diocese of Portsmouth

Environmental Advisory Group

Environment


Our Mission

Caring for God’s creation is an integral part of the Christian faith – we are committed to “sustaining and renewing the life of the earth”, according to the five strands of mission. It’s also important for worshippers within our diocese, and our Environment Policy was agreed back in 2008, and is even more relevant today. Many of our churches are committed to embracing alternatives that are kinder to our planet, and campaigning for governments to respond more effectively to the climate emergency.

The Church of England nationally has committed itself to be carbon net zero by 2030, which is a challenging target for national Church institutions, dioceses and parishes. You can see the news stories below about how our churches are responding to this challenge,. Some additional resources to help your churches become carbon net zero can be found here.

Latest News


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Energy audits

Much of the challenge regarding turning out church buildings carbon-neutral revolves around our heating systems and the way we use energy to heat and light those buildings. We've asked the University of Portsmouth to do some energy audits on four specific churches, to give us an idea of what is involved in older and newer buildings, urban and rural settings, and with larger and smaller congregations. Why not download the audit from the church that is the most similar to yours and see what they say?

Upcoming Events


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One parish project

Discover how worshippers in one part of the Isle of Wight are putting environmental sustainability at the top of their priority list:

Updates

July 2022

New C of E rules about obtaining faculties for alterations to church buildings are implemented from July 1. They give more weight to those changes that will help towards the drive for our churches to become carbon net zero. Click here for information.

November 2021

  • The Church of England's lead bishop on the environment, the Rt Rev Graham Usher, urges us to keep up the moral pressure after the COP26 United Nations summit in Glasgow. Read his thoughts here.

May 2021

February 2021

  • The national Church of England has reported back on progress with the drive towards its zero net carbon goal for 2030. You can read about that here.
  • Lent resources from the Anglican Communion Environment Network:
    • Planting Seeds of Hope, forty devotions on care for Creation in memory of Bishop Ellinah
    • Carbon Fast for Lent: “Build Forward Better”:
    • Bishop Ellinah’s Memorial Service: The Anglican Communion Environmental Network held a memorial service for Bishop Ellinah.

November 2020

  • The Church Times has published an article suggesting that if the whole church were to commit to reducing its carbon footprint, the net-zero target set by General Synod can be achieved. Click here to download the article.

July 2020

  • The online form to register interest in this year’s Energy Audit season will go live on Friday 24 July and will be open until 30 September. The audits themselves will take place from October - March. Click here for full details.

June 2020

  • Several bishops have signed a powerful statement by the Anglican Communion Environmental Network on Environmental Racism. The statement is compelling; it sets out the intersection between systematic racism and environmental issues, and stressed that black lives matter in all countries.

National C of E environmental initiatives

Shrinking the Footprint is the Church of England’s national environmental campaign. It can provide resources to help you take action on the environment. Find out more here.

And Churches Together is calling for churches to hold a Climate Sunday service. It is urging all local churches, denominations, ‘streams’ and networks to hold a climate-focused service - ideally on 6 September, but definitely during the period between September 1 and October 4, which is recognised by a growing number of denominations as ‘Creationtide’.


Visit the Church of England’s website under environment-and-climate-change for advice, resources, guidance, case studies latest news and ways to save money through ‘Parish Buying


Environmental Advisory Group

The members of the Diocese Environmental Advisory Group are:

  • Rachel Houlberg, Secretary to the Bishop of Portsmouth
  • Rev Alison Morley, Vicar of Seaview, St Helens, Brading and Yaverland Benefice
  • Sara Collins, The Eco Urban Ranger
  • Janet Hammerton

Please email Rachel Houlberg to get in touch with the advisory group here.