Across the Diocese, we believe that responding to climate change is an essential part of our responsibility to safeguard God's creation.
Within our Called Together vision we have expressed a commitment to protecting creation's life for future generations. As a Diocesan structure, we know there is more we need to do, but on this page, we outline some of the ways we are moving forward on our environmental journey.
Eco Church and Eco Diocese
One of the ways we are supporting churches in their environmental journey is to encourage them to become an Eco Church.
Through its free online survey and supporting resources, Eco Church, equips churches to express their care for God’s world by asking them to reflect on five keys areas of their life as a church.
The five areas are:
- Worship and teaching;
- How you look after your buildings and land;
- How you engage with your local community and in global campaigns; and
- In the personal lifestyles choices of your congregation.
It then offers suggestions as to the next steps a church can take; churches can achieve a gold, silver or bronze award, based on their Eco Church journey.
We now have 61 churches in the Diocese that are registered for Eco Church (including LEPs which count for both denominations) of which 13 have reached the bronze award level and 2 the silver award level.
We have identified our environmental priority as an area where we can work well with our neighbours in the Diocese of Canterbury, sharing resources and knowledge.
The first stage of this has been to join up the Environment Working Groups; Canterbury’s is well-established and new Terms of Reference have been drafted.
The aim is to have sub-groups looking at reaching the target to be net carbon zero by 2030, as this is detailed work relating to properties and asset management within each diocese.
In Rochester, we are currently carrying out surveys and data analysis to set the priorities for this work, which includes on clergy housing.
If you would like to know more about the Working Group please contact Claire.Boxall@rochester.anglican.org
Sustainability focused investments
As part of our prophetic calling, we commit to speak about our role in caring for God’s creation, to work for the protection of the natural world and to equip Christians and churches to care for it.
Our diocesan financial investments provide much needed income to support mission and ministry, and in particular will provide some of the funds needed to make energy efficiency improvements to our clergy housing over the coming years, which will significantly help us reach the target of carbon net zero emissions.
We understand that where our money is invested is also important.
We follow the Church of England guidance on ethical investing and know that this and the transition to carbon net zero is a complex and dynamic issue.
We hold indirectly, through third party funds, some longer-term investment bonds which bring some limited exposure to fossil fuels through energy infrastructure assets. These make up a tiny fraction of our overall investment portfolio.
In response to the climate crisis, the Diocese’s Investment Committee has taken a decision to allocate funds to “positive impact” investments, totalling around 15% of the Diocese’s investment assets.
Over time we are building up our investments in organisations that work to lessen the climate crisis, including investing in renewable energy assets (such as solar / wind farms) and providing capital to early stage technology companies that support a sustainable transition.
Useful links and resources
If you or your church are looking for more help and inspiration with your own environmental journey, take a look at these national and local groups:
- Church of England Environmental Programme Find out more about whole the Church of England is working to tackle climate change. Plus links to national information, webinars, newsletters and resources.
- Wild Christians The Wild Christian scheme is a community of families and individuals exploring the connections between our Christian faith, the natural environment, and how we live. Sign up and each month they send you something to think about and some practical actions that you can take to help you enjoy, nurture and protect nature. You’ll also have the opportunity to share your own stories, if you wish, and to help us generate ideas for future editions:
- Eco Church Kent Facebook group This group is to support anyone working to make their church and communities more sustainable and eco-friendly, and working towards an Eco Church award. Members share tools, links, questions, and encouragement so we can work together to be carbon neutral:
- Faith for the Climate aims to encourage, inspire and equip faith communities in their work on climate change. This is an interfaith organisation:
- Green Christian Is a community of ordinary Christians from all backgrounds and traditions. Inspired by faith, they work to care for Creation through prayer, living simply, public witness, campaigning and mutual encouragement.
Called Together Manager