The Church of England in Cornwall has strengthened its commitment to helping the environment by developing a dedicated plan and hiring an expert to help put it into practice.
Luci Isaacson (above) joins the diocese in a consultancy role as its environment officer, and has been working with the church’s existing environment core group to develop the strategy.
The aim is to help individuals, parish churches and PCCs, and diocesan staff and committees to consider the issues and, where possible, to make changes aimed at slowing climate change.
The Bishop of Truro, the Right Reverend Tim Thornton, said: “The imperative to take action at every level to protect and sustain the life of the planet comes not simply in response to the overwhelming evidence of the damage caused by climate change and the consequent threat to life on earth. It comes also for us as Christians from our conviction that all creation is a gift from God, and that we have a responsibility to preserve and hand it on to future generations for their enjoyment. The church should be in the forefront of environmental activity, not least as witness to this belief.
“Many of us have already been challenged to begin our ‘environmental makeover’ by undertaking Luci’s Top 10 Pledges, and in doing so we have been reminded that many small changes can combine to make a major impact.”
Bishop Tim and the Archdeacon of Cornwall, The Venerable Bill Stuart-White, both undertook the Top 10 Pledges and are now encouraging all Anglicans in Cornwall to do the same. The Diocese of Truro will be highlighting one of the pledges each month during 2017.
Archdeacon Bill said: “It’s wonderful to welcome Luci to work with us. She brings real experience and expertise in the issues surrounding Climate Change together with a straightforward and practical approach to addressing it. Caring for creation is a key part of the Mission of the Church and with Luci’s help we hope that the Diocese of Truro, along with other partners, can play its part.”
Luci said: “It really is an exciting time. People who haven’t done the pledges before can join in with others at their church and do them together. Fliers will be available in churches so people can record their activity and post it in or record it online.
“Those who have done them before can help us to encourage others, not only in cutting carbon, but also by making themselves a little more resilient to climate change. When the 10 are complete, everyone will be better positioned to help me with the next steps, to look at our buildings, land and our structures.”
The Diocesan Synod, together with the Cornwall Methodist District, originally adopted an Environment Policy in 2009, and committed itself to action at personal, local church, diocesan and national levels. This commitment was reaffirmed by last year’s diocesan synod, which also commissioned the environment strategy.
The 10 pledges are:
I pledge to ring my electricity supplier over the next 24 hours and see if I can switch to green energy (if not I will find one);
I pledge to buy local seasonal produce as much as possible – starting with at least 2 meals a week;
I pledge to educate myself about the science and impacts of climate change starting with reading Climate Vision’s article “Climate Change”
I pledge to contact my MP and my friends and ask them to make these pledges too;
I have pledged to walk, cycle, use public transport or register with www.carsharecornwall.com 08700 111199 to travel to work or regular journey at least once a week;
I have worked out my own carbon footprint using one of the many easy to use carbon calculators eg, http://footprint.wwf.org.uk\ ;
I pledge to do a ‘home energy check’ here to find out how I can save energy in my home. (If you don’t have internet, ask the Energy Saving Trust on 0800 512 012);
I pledge to turn my thermostat down or use a thermometer to reach the lowest comfortable temperature, typically between 18-21°C & think about putting on a jumper instead;
I have pledged to reduce my holiday air miles by 50%;
I pledge to research ‘driving in a greener way’ by Google/research or by ringing up a driving instructor and booking a lesson to learn eco-drive ideas.