Tackling our climate emergency - shrinking our footprint – treading more lightly on the Earth
St Thomas’s is committed to supporting the London Diocese plan to “shrink the footprint” https://www.london.anglican.org/mission/shrinking-the-footprint/
Steps we have taken in 2019 to reduce our carbon footprint include:
Installing solar panels and battery storage – see the kWh our panels generated yesterday by clicking here https://jojusolar.pvmeter.com/solar/PA?icks=MTIzNjE=
Converting our lighting to LEDs
Draught proofing doors
These measures will save a total of 4.7 tons (4.7tCO2e) of carbon yearly.
We have been supported in achieving this by generous grants from:
Cloudesley, as part of their Sustainable Churches Project celebrating the 500th anniversary of the legacy of Richard Cloudesley
Islington Council’s Community Energy Fund
We thank them all.
We keep a regular worship focus on environmental issues through sermons, prayer and our children’s activities. We run our small church garden organically, with a focus on biodiversity. We harvest rainwater for the garden and have recycling facilities in the grounds. Helping other species that are facing new challenges is also important – we have two swift nest boxes fixed high on our building.
The context for our environmental work is the Five Marks of Mission, established by the worldwide Anglican Communion https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2017-11/MTAG%20The%205%20Marks%20Of%20Mission.pdf. Care for the environment is mandated by the Fifth Mark of Mission, ‘strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth’. It also involves aspects of all the others:
The Good News of the Kingdom includes the redemption of ‘all things’ (Col 1:20).
The teaching of new believers should include communicating the need to care for God’s Creation.
Human need includes the needs of the many people caught up every day in the effects of environmental degradation.
Unjust structures include the promotion of consumerism, the dominance of economic growth at any price, the accumulation of disproportionate resources by a few.
Trade justice is part of this – we are a Fair Trade church.
We support work with refugees and asylum seekers, many of whom are forced from their homes by the effects of climate change.
We intend to continue working to further reduce our carbon footprint as a church and as a congregation, and to demonstrate that our environmental concern is rooted in our religious faith, our approach to spirituality and our concern for social justice.
We held a successful Eco Fair - Open Church Day on Saturday 12 October 2019 - which was an opportunity for our neighbours to see what we have done and find out more about steps we can all take to tread more lightly on the earth.