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Church in Society Committee

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Ecological and Environmental Panel responds to church policy on global warming

Church in Society Committee

Added on 24/02/2009

The advisory work of the Church of Ireland in respect of the above is centralised in the Ecological and Environmental Panel of the Church in Society Committee, which encourages parishes to adopt an active role in the stewardship of God’s Creation.

The promotion, therefore, of good ecological practice would include a parish carrying out all functions and activities in a way which minimises negative impact on the environment.  The many and varied ways of implementation might include the monitoring and reduction of energy use, the use of energy from renewable sources (where possible), the setting of targets for reduced waste generation, the promotion of recycling, the minimization of land, water and air pollution, employing environmental considerations in the management of office administration, the general application of sustainability objectives in all aspects and activities, as well as the regular monitoring of these activities and an attempt to make ongoing improvements as opportunities arise.

An email bulletin entitled “Greening the Church” is received by a growing number of parishes and individuals.  It contains articles on the many activities of good environmental practice adopted by churches throughout the island, and is thus an encouragement to many.

Environmental workshops are held at various locations, at which teaching sessions are complemented by the promotional work of bodies such as Friends of the Earth.

The Church of Ireland is a founder member of Eco-Congregation Ireland, and is actively involved in the promotion of environmental stewardship through this ecumenical body.  Within the same, the Church of Ireland co-operates with the Roman Catholic, Methodist and Presbyterian churches, as well as the Society of Friends, and organisational and administrative membership is open to all Christian denominations.

Eco-Congregation Ireland is an internet initiative and therefore all resources are free and can be downloaded from the website:  www.ecocongregationireland.org   The modules are designed to enable congregations to become self-sufficient and monitor their own progress.   They cover many aspects of parish life, including worship.

The above general description of this aspect of the Church’s work can clearly be seen to include the major topics of reduction of waste and global warming, and while much of the Environmental Panel’s work is with the parishes, as well as with the individual households which make up the parish families, one would expect the implementation of parish policy to cover a parish’s schools, churches, and indeed all its buildings.