The Church of England has a glorious heritage of fabulous church buildings
At the same time, as a Christian organisation, it has a responsibility not just for the maintenance and upkeep of these buildings, but also to use them in such a way that demonstrates wise stewardship in relation to the finite resources of the planet, against the challenges of global climate change
The Church of England has a national sustainability scheme entitled "Shrinking the Footprint" with many excellent suggestions to help church congregations preserve their structural heritage and conserve their wider environmental heritage. One of the first initiatives that can be taken by local churches is to conduct an energy audit.
In May 2013, the Shrinking the Footprint campaign received considerable positive publicity for its initiatives from the Business Green journal. Follow the link and access the free trial to read the full article.
Shrinking the Footprint has run a pilot scheme using sMeasure software. This scheme was launched nationally in January 2013, and it is hoped to encourage every church and church controlled premises in Blackburn Diocese to become part of the scheme. This short video clip helps explain the sMeasure initiative.
For churches seeking to maximise the environmental value of their churchyards, visit the "Caring for God's Acre" website which has many helpful suggestions
One rural church in Blackburn Diocese, St. John's Yealand Conyers, offers a case study in tackling sustainability issues.
Revd. Chris Halliwell, Diocesan Rural and Environmental Project Officer September 2012