Guildford Cathedral's Christian Response to the challenge of safeguarding God's creation

Introduction

Reducing the causes of climate change is essential to the life of faith. It is a way to love our neighbour and to steward the gift of creation.”

“The present challenges of environment and economy, of human development and global poverty, can only be faced with extraordinary Christ-liberated courage.”

                                                                                                                                Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

Guildford Cathedral believes that responding to climate change is an essential part of our responsibility to safeguard God's creation. We will respond in faith, practice and mission to the challenges posed by climate change, and the need to protect the environment.

Our Commitment

The Chapter is committed to caring for the environment as this is fundamental to Christian faith and action. The Chapter recognises that we all have a responsibility to ensure that this remains a sustainable world and to respond to the social injustice visited on many of the world’s poorest people as a result of climate change. It wants to see the integration of an active concern for the environment and climate change into the life and mission of the Cathedral.

Our Objectives

The Cathedral, through its staff, congregation and activities will seek to:-

  • make care for God’s creation an integral part of our worship, life and work, celebrating and affirming the dignity of creation, and recognising that God has given the earth as a common resource for all life;

  • regularly review our progress in broadening respect for creation, through reducing our carbon footprint, and in working for a more sustainable economy;

  • promote the responsible use and recycling of natural resources;

  • reduce consumption and waste where possible;

  • promote environmental awareness going beyond the sustainable agenda;

  • recognise the rights of all people including future generations by promoting the responsible use and sharing of the rich resources of God’s earth.

Our action plan

The Chapter is committed to becoming a gold standard eco-church within 5 years. The eco-church standard is that set out by A Rocha, who run the UK’s award scheme for churches in England and Wales who want to demonstrate that the gospel is good news for God’s earth.

To achieve this we will strive to:-

  • Incorporate caring for God’s earth into our worship and teaching;

  • Reduce our carbon footprint and our energy consumption annually;

  • Give preference to renewable energy sources and undertake feasibility assessments for their application;

  • Avoid wasting resources by e.g. conserving energy as far as possible and sourcing, where feasible, from renewable supplies;

  • conserve and reduce consumption of water;

  • Care for, protect and promote wildlife and biodiversity on Cathedral land;

  • Avoid the use of harmful chemicals;

  • Recycle waste as much as possible;

  • Source supplies locally first and from Fairtrade providers;

  • Identify opportunities to reduce our impact on the environment and develop initiatives to promote care for the environment;

  • Raise awareness amongst the Cathedral staff and members, and engage with local community initiatives;

  • Where practicable we will undertake audits to assess, measure and identify ways to improve our performance.