New guide helps churches go green

Parishes in the Church in Wales are being urged to “think global – act local” in a new guide detailing how they can reduce their carbon footprint.

The 'Parish Green Guide – Caring for God’s Creation' encourages churches to make good environmental practice a priority by recycling and re-using materials and re-thinking their entire energy needs.

The guide includes a detailed check-list of practical steps they can take, like changing light bulbs and sharing lifts, to more complex changes like establishing natural burial areas, installing solar panels and wind turbines and setting up local food cooperatives. It also includes prayers and ideas for worship themed around sustaining God’s creation.

Endorsing the guide, the Archbishop of Wales Dr Barry Morgan said the importance of the environment meant sometimes churches had to be prepared to opt for the “greenest” rather than the “cheapest” option.

He said, “I warmly encourage every church to take this important issue seriously and to use the check-list as a normal part of its business. The Church in Wales has a huge contribution to make to a sustainable future, not least by the way it uses energy in its buildings and recycles and avoids unnecessary waste. Our prayers and liturgies also give us many opportunities to proclaim the goodness of God’s creation and our responsibility for its sustainability.”

Rev Robin Morrison, Bishops’ Adviser for Church and Society said, “Our belief that God has created this world gives us a special sense of responsibility for it. The challenges are huge. This Green Guide is a practical way forward for parishes in an area that can seem daunting. Each parish is invited to make their contribution via a check-list of actions and other suggestions."

Rev Morrison said parishes were already setting a local example in the way they use their buildings and churchyards and encouraging local people to think about energy use and recycling.

"It’s also a time to be more creative in our worship and in links with local organisations, including schools who are already taking action and teaching children and parents about ways to care for our environment."

A copy of the Parish Green Guide can be downloaded at: