Sustainability

Sustainability Policy for Christ Church, High Harrogate

We affirm these elements of our faith:

  • We have been created by God as part of one great, interdependent living system
  • We recognise that we have a special responsibility to care for the Earth and to seek the best possible harmony with other creatures of the Earth.

Aim

As a local church, we aim to take the practical steps necessary to realise the Fifth Mark of Mission, which is “to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and to sustain the life of the earth”.

Objective

In 1987, the Brundtland Report for the UN defined sustainable development as development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It recognised that sustainability is about more than environmental protection. Whilst subsequently there have been other definitions of sustainability, it is generally agreed that it has three interdependent and equally important pillars – environmental, social and economic sustainability. There must be a reasoned balance among them for sustainability to be achieved.

As a church community, we will take sustainability concerns into account in our mission, worship, study, education, training, pastoral, administrative and other projects and programmes and so reduce our environmental footprint and operate more sustainability.

Actions

1. We will appoint a person to lead our sustainability programme and encourage him or her to bring relevant issues and concerns forward to the PCC as appropriate.

2. We will include our concern for sustainability in our worship and teaching.

3. We will undertake a sustainability and energy audit of the church premises and property, identify the most significant issues and impacts which should be addressed and make and implement plans and programmes to tackle them, recognising that some additional capital costs may be incurred to minimise environmental impacts (See partial lists below).

4. We will work with others in our local community to identify sustainability issues which should be addressed in our area and help develop actions to tackle them.

5. As energy use is arguably the church’s greatest environmental impact, we will seek to reduce the use of electricity and gas in church premises by:  

    - Fitting  thermostatic controls on our heating systems

    - Fitting low energy light bulbs

    - Improving insulation wherever practicable

    - Switching to “green” energy supplies if practicable

    - Turning off lights, appliances and computers when not in use

    - Replacing old, inefficient boilers and heating systems.

6. We will seek ways to reduce material consumption and the impact of our activities on the environment by, wherever possible:

    - using email rather than sending hard copies

    - using recycled paper wherever possible

    - reusing/repairing items

    - using low environmental impact cleaning materials

    - recycling used packaging and other products.

7. We will encourage our staff and congregation wherever possible to use forms of transport to work, meetings etc. which have minimum or reduced environmental impact – e.g. walk, cycle, public transport, car sharing.

8. We will avoid using water unnecessarily, install water meters where appropriate, check for leakages, fit water minimising systems wherever practicable.

9. We will participate in the Eco Church programme and encourage our Junior Church to help drive this initiative to lower our church’s sustainability footprint.

10. We will encourage individual members of our congregations to take actions in their personal lives to complement and supplement the actions of the church community. 

11. We will provide support and assistance to local community and social groups as appropriate.

12. We will seek to source products and services from local suppliers where appropriate.

13. This policy and programme will be reviewed every three years in light of developments. Next review date – Spring 2020.

Dated: January 2017