Caring for god s creation the response of the church in wales
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Caring for God’s Creation : the response of the Church in Wales. Alex Glanville Head of Property Services The Church in Wales. Presentation Outline. About the Church in Wales Green Issues in the Church in Wales Our Approach The Parish Green Guide Review and Next Steps.

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Caring for god s creation the response of the church in wales

Caring for God’s Creation: the response of the Church in Wales

Alex Glanville

Head of Property Services

The Church in Wales

Presentation outline
Presentation Outline

  • About the Church in Wales

  • Green Issues in the Church in Wales

  • Our Approach

  • The Parish Green Guide

  • Review and Next Steps


The Anglo-Saxon word for 'foreign' or 'foreigner' was Waelisc and a 'foreign(er's) land' was called Wēalas

These words are derived from the same Germanic root (singular Walh, plural Walha or ‘strangers’), and were applied to, particularly, Celtic peoples and places.

It has provided modern names for places like Wallonia and Wales.

Wales cymru
Wales (Cymru)

  • Now a semi-autonomous region

  • Budget devolved to the Welsh Government

  • Welsh Government sets laws in respect of health, education, police, planning, etc

  • Subject to United Kingdom Parliament on national issues

  • Bi-lingual

  • ‘National’ identity within Britain

About the church in wales1
About the Church in Wales

  • A Province of the Anglican Communion

  • Separate from the Church of England since 1920

  • 6 Dioceses each led by a Bishop

  • 1420 places of worship across Wales

  • About 900 are listed ‘heritage’ buildings

  • Owned centrally; managed locally by each congregation

About the church in wales2
About the Church in Wales

Open Churches

  • Promoted by Churches Tourism Network Wales (CTNW)

  • Approx 50% open outside of worship times

  • 2 million visits to churches each year

  • ‘Llan’ means holy place or churchyard

  • Faith Tourism recognised as a growth area by Government – strategy

  • Developing logo, standard leaflet, guidance, trails

Green issues in the church in wales
Green Issues in the Church in Wales

  • Was seen as a ‘nice to do, when we have the time and money’

  • Bishops recognised the issues of climate change were too important to be ‘optional’

  • Issues needed to be given greater prominence

  • Encouragement was needed

  • Permission was needed

  • Focus

Our approach
Our Approach

  • Policy is difficult in a ‘voluntary’ body

  • Other issues will always form priority

  • Could not dictate or force the pace

  • Encourage discussions and debate

  • An easy ‘way in’

  • Not a measurable approach

  • Not just about technology

  • Eye catching; quality

The parish green guide
The Parish Green Guide

  • Four sections:

    • Principles

    • Checklist for Action

    • Resources

    • Preaching and Teaching

    • Sections follow through

    • Colour coded

A statement of principles from the bench of bishops
A Statement of Principles from the Bench of Bishops

We believe in the conservation of the Earth and its resources as God’s precious creation. The Church should strive to put this belief into action by:

1. Seeking to reduce energy use in all our buildings

2. Being open to renewable energy solutions such as solar power and wind turbines on our property

3. Encouraging the use of less polluting forms of transport wherever possible particularly walking and cycling

4. Developing wildlife conservation schemes in our churchyards

5. Using Fair Trade, environment and animal friendly products wherever possible

6. Reducing waste by composting and recycling as much of it as possible

7. Reducing paper usage (and then only recycled paper)

8. Considering the environmental impact of our meetings and how we can reduce that impact

9. Disseminating information on good practice and where to obtain advice and help on environmental issues

10. Promoting sustainability through our preaching and teaching and setting a good example

Review and next steps
Review and Next Steps

  • Reaction to the Guide has been positive

  • The Guide has placed the issue on the agenda but it is still ‘an optional extra’

  • Impossible to measure the impact of the Guide

  • Impossible to measure carbon reduction as a result

  • Examples of what has been done – how to do things

  • Encourage ways of thinking and behaving

  • Share experiences ? Benchmarking

  • Links to website

Three things to do
? Three Things to Do

  • Energy Audit

    • Renewable Energy, green supplier, use less, fittings and equipment, insulation, draught proofing

  • Local Food initiative

    • Food market, local food festival, local lent lunch, allotments

  • Water

    • Water butts, rainwater harvesting, water meter, holy wells, baptisms,

Thinking and behaving
? Thinking and Behaving

  • Optimisation not efficiency

  • Achieve a balance between competing demands

  • Be connected through a web of interactions

  • No waste – re-cycle what you discard

? Wellbeing

The central organising principle of the Welsh Government:

‘Improving the long-term economic, social and environmental wellbeing of people and communities in Wales’(One Wales:One Planet 2010


  • The Parish Green Guide has placed the issue firmly on our agenda

  • Parishes need more help and encouragement to make progress

  • Simple approach: ‘Three Steps’

  • Examples and Ideas

  • Wellbeing