The Catholic Church across Yorkshire's historic West Riding since 1878

The Catholic Church across Yorkshire's historic West Riding since 1878

How ‘Green’ is YOUR Parish?

YOUR church, parish and school initiatives are being sought for The Green Church Showcase: a hunt for inspiring church initiatives which protect and preserve the planet!

Churches schools, dioceses, and Christian groups of any denomination are being asked to submit details of work that they have undertaken to combat climate change, protect nature, and involve their communities in making changes.

As a Diocese, we already buy 100% of our electricity from renewable sources and (so far) 71% of Gas requirements are from ‘Green Gas’ sources with the remaining 29% offset through investments in carbon-neutral projects. Our Laudato Si’ Mini Pilgrimage Walks already showcase the conservation undertaken at our Myddelton Estate and Calvary and at other sacred sites across the Diocese of Leeds.

But a diocese is only the sum total of its individual parishes, so we are particularly keen to promote the sort of initiatives that our priests, parishioners and schools send us for inclusion in our Annual Review so that YOUR school or parish can inspire others across our Diocese and beyond!

So PLEASE send details of any ‘Green Initiatives’ in YOUR parish to and we will submit them before the 21 July 2021 closing date for consideration by a national ecumenical panel and supported by The Church Times. The panel will recommend the best ideas to be included in a special video – The Green Church Showreel – to be launched during the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow at the start of November.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has nominated the Rt Revd John Arnold, Bishop of Salford, to be lead Bishop for the Environment, and his support for the ‘Green Church Showcase’ is enthusiastic:

‘The Green Church Showcase is a welcome opportunity to acknowledge the achievements of those parishes who are at the forefront of making green changes, which are key to creating a more sustainable future for our society. Sharing examples of best environmental practice and supporting creative change will help us to better understand how we can make progress together, as the Body of Christ, on the pressing issue of climate change. In my own Diocese of Salford, through the ‘Guardians of Creation’ project, we are leading on research into the local church’s response to the ecological crisis. We will share this research across ecumenical networks, as the project unfolds. Catholic communities are already pioneering change in various ways, including engaging with CAFOD’s livesimply award, transitioning to greener energies and developing education on this issue in our schools. As we move towards COP26, we hope that ‘Green Church Showcase’ provides a platform that will enable and encourage churches to learn from each other across denominations.’

These are not competitive ‘Awards’, so there are no set categories. The sort of initiatives the judging panel are looking for are those most easily reproducible by others, so that the whole Church contributes to the reversal of climate change:

  • Building projects moving towards net-zero carbon, such as energy efficiencies, pew heaters, heat pumps, and solar panels
  • Building projects that balance conservation and the environment, such as maintenance programmes, sympathetic retrofits, and using low-carbon materials
  • Courageous advocacy and community engagement
  • Nurturing the natural world, and using church land to develop health and wellbeing
  • Involving young people at every level
  • Diocesan initiatives that break new ground
  • Simple but effective gains on a shoestring