Resources: Church resources

How green is your church? Audit questionnaire

Posted in: Church resources
Resource type: Activities

Here is a check-list to assess your church’s starting point around engagement with environmental issues. You can make comments and note ideas and actions to take forward.

Worship

  • How often, in worship services at your church, is the environment or care for creation mentioned?
  • Do you regularly sing hymns celebrating God’s creation?
  • Do you have prayers that feature environmental concerns?
  • Do you have sermons that speak about the call to exercise responsible stewardship of creation (or ‘Creation Care’, one of the Five Marks of Mission in the Church of England)?
  • Do you have sermons that speak about climate change?
  • Are film clips about the environment or climate change shown as part of the service in your church?
  • Do you ever hold church services outdoors? Or take walks or have quiet times together outdoors to feel closer to God, through the beauty of God’s creation?

Comments and ideas for next steps:

 

Education and awareness-raising

  • Are Christian environmental resources displayed or made available at your church?
  • Does your church have display boards or posters about key environmental issues such as climate change and what action people can take, or information from faith-led organisations (eg Operation Noah, Tearfund, Christian Aid, A Rocha, CAFOD, All We Can)?
  • Does your church hold events about key environmental issues – for example, inviting a guest speaker or showing a film?
  • Do your church magazines, newsletters, website or blogs feature environmental concerns? Do they include green lifestyle tips and campaign actions and events?
  • Does your church offer study courses or Bible studies exploring environmental concerns, such as Operation Noah’s Lent course ‘Climate Change and the purposes of God’?
  • Do the children’s or youth programmes at your church include activities that focus on the environment?

Comments and ideas for next steps:

 

Church mission

  • How well is the church’s role in care for creation and addressing climate change embedded in the overarching mission of your church?
  • Do members of the church understand the importance of addressing climate change as part of their Christian discipleship?
  • Has your church shared information about Operation Noah’s Ash Wednesday Declaration and the role of the church in responding to it?

Comments and ideas for next steps:

 

Campaigns and lobbying

  • Does your church disseminate information about environmental and climate change campaigns from environmental and faith NGOs?
  • Have members of your church heard about the ‘For the Love of …’ campaign?
  • Have members of your church heard about the fossil free campaign, the divestment campaign or Bright Now?
  • Is your church aware of the ‘Pray and Fast for the Climate’ movement? Has it participated?
  • Have members of your church or eco group contacted senior church leaders, such as a bishop, to discuss environmental concerns and the role of the church?
  • Is your church active politically in the run-up to the forthcoming general election? Are they planning to hold a hustings event or letter-writing workshop to contact MPs and political candidates?
  • Has your church committee (or other governing body) ever written collectively to key decision-makers to express your concern about an environmental issue? Recipients could include local MPs, the government, local authority, Church investment decision-makers, or other national or regional Church governing body.
  • Have members of your church community ever been active around raising environmental concerns through official Church channels, for instance by submitting a motion for debate at national level?
  • Does your church publicise key national or local actions or events, such as the national climate marches, speaker events, etc?

Comments and ideas for next steps:

Church buildings and grounds

  • Has your church undertaken an energy audit?
  • Does your church monitor energy consumption?
  • Has your church installed energy-saving measures in its buildings, for example low-energy lighting, draught-proofing and insulation, an efficient boiler or solar PV panels?
  • Does your church encourage building users to reduce energy or water usage wherever possible?
  • Has your church switched to a ‘green’ energy supplier?
  • Does your church community participate in outdoor activities to improve the natural habitat of the church grounds or use areas for food growing?

Comments and ideas for next steps:

Church resources

  • Does your church purchase sustainably sourced, Fairtrade and environmentally friendly products, such as recycled paper, tea/coffee, cleaning products, etc?
  • Is your church active on recycling, including composting?
  • Does your church actively minimise waste wherever possible, for example by not using disposable items for events?
  • Does your church have an ethical investment policy for savings?
  • As part of such a policy, has your church considered avoiding investment in fossil fuels?

Comments and ideas for next steps:

 

Church community and wider links

  • Is your church an Eco-Church or interested in becoming one?
  • Do you have an environment or eco group that is active on environmental issues in your church or area?
  • Is your church connected to the local Transition Network group or other local sustainability groups?
  • Has your church done any outreach or partnership activities with the wider community on environmental projects or events?
  • Has your church participated in any environmental projects with local schools?

Comments and ideas for next steps:

 

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