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Issue 54 | March 2024

God's Green Fingers Environment E-news

As spring brings blossom bursting from previously bare winter branches and birds preparing to nest, so it seems many churches are springing into action to cherish and bring renewal for Christ’s creation. 

The Church of England £190m nine year net zero carbon investment programme is beginning to deliver a number of different initiatives that you can read about below, including additional fundraising support. 

Meanwhile, we can all be thinking about what we support when we spend our own money. Check out the articles below about switching to a renewable electricity tariff and The Big Bank Switch, encouraging us all to switch away from banking with a bank that supports fossil fuels. 

Note: Some of the articles below link to the Church Times. You can read up to four Church Times articles each month free of charge by registering on their website. 

God bless

Jemima Parker

Diocesan Environment Officer

[email protected]

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Switching to Green Electric Commended to Parishes

Diocesan Secretary, Jonathan Wood, has written to all parishes not known to be on a renewable electricity tariff to encourage them to make the switch. In his letter to PCC Treasurers and Secretaries, he explains that this is one of the quick wins on every church’s pathway to becoming net zero carbon. He also makes them aware that, among other providers, the Green Journey package of energy procurement services that is open to all parishes. 

Read more

Leeds Church Secures Wildlife Gardening Award

St Oswald’s Methley has recently won an award from the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust for their work creating a wildlife-friendly Quiet Garden and churchyard. The church applied to the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust in 2023 for their Wildlife Gardening Award, sharing the story of their garden and the work on the churchyard. 

Read more

New Resources to Help Parishes with Funding for Net Zero Projects

Churches looking to reduce their carbon emissions have received a boost, with new resources to help parishes find funding for their projects. As part of our Saving Creation strategy, the diocese is pleased to share new funding resources prepared in partnership with Action Planning, expert charity fundraising consultants. 

Read more

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Diocese Wins Funds for Eco Fundraising Officer

The Diocese of Leeds has been successful in securing funding for a part time Net Zero Carbon Fundraising Officer. The role will support both the diocese and parishes in drawing in additional funding to invest in church buildings, church schools and clergy homes on the decarbonisation journey. The post is now being advertised. 

Read more

Open for Nominations: The Church Times Green Church Awards

Do you have a project or person who is your eco star? Why not nominate them for one of these prestigious awards designed to celebrate the remarkable efforts made in recent years by individuals and congregations to offset the damage being done to the earth, and to set good examples before others who might be inspired to follow suit. This year the Green Journey is sponsoring the “Action on a Shoestring” award. 

Read more

Partnership with Woodland Trust Celebrated

A new video from Operation Noah, the Christian Climate Action Charity, explains how the Diocese of Leeds are working with the Woodland Trust. “Growing Trees - a partnership between the Diocese of Leeds and the Woodland Trust” describes how the Diocese of Leeds Property Team have been helped to identify areas of land which are suitable for growing trees. Operation Noah hope to encourage other dioceses and organisations to follow suit. 

Read more

God's Creation to be Celebrated at Wild Flower Festival

One of our Ripon area churches is highlighting the beauty and preciousness of God’s creation, by hosting a Wild Flower Festival. Coverham Church are holding the Wild Coverdale Flower Festival starting in May 2024, which will be the backdrop for a fun and thought-provoking programme of events. 

Read more

The Big Bank Switch

Christians who care for God’s creation are begin encouraged to switch bank accounts. This Lent Green Christian are calling inviting Christians around the UK to align their money with their values by switching from a bank that funds planet-destroying fossil fuels to one that doesn’t. 

Read more

General Synod backs Action to Tackle Biodiversity Crisis

The General Synod of the Church of England has backed a series of measures to promote biodiversity on Church of England land from churchyards as havens of wildlife and plants to the stewardship of agricultural and forestry land. Members of the Synod welcomed progress already made by the Church Commissioners, the National Church Institutions, dioceses, parishes, cathedrals and schools to manage their land for climate and nature and approved further action to increase biodiversity. 

Read more

Inspiration for the Church of England Net Zero Carbon Programme

A new video resource had been created by the Church of England Net Zero Programme team to help engage parishes and dioceses with the Church Commissioners £190m net zero investment programme. Hear how it is possible for every parish to start on this journey and why it is a critical part of our mission. 

Watch here

Events and Webinars - Local

16 Mar Bradford Cathedral Eco Film Club

6pm. Screening of the film ‘2040’. Join this special film club to watch a short documentary film exploring themes of the environment, followed by discussion. 


10 April Webinar: Green Journey – A Procurement Package for Your Church

12pm-1pm online. Find out how the Green Journey can help you with your energy bills. Join us for this webinar where Kevin Lumley, Green Journey Director, and Craig Hogg, Ecclesiastical Accounts Manager, will explain what the scheme offers, take us through the current state of the energy market and answer your questions.

More details

13 April Cultural Climate Symposium

Bradford Cathedral. Panel discussion and two theatre pieces. Showcasing some theatrical explorations on the theme of climate change: Too Much Of Water and The Past Present. There will also be a panel discussion about the role of faith communities working with artists and the culture sector to influence public discourse on this issue. 


13 April Bradford Cathedral Eco Film Club

6pm. Screening of the film 'A Life on Our Planet' , where broadcaster David Attenborough recounts his life, and the evolutionary history of life on Earth, to grieve the loss of wild places and offer a vision for the future. 


17 April "Of Walking on Thin Ice" Film Screening

Wakefield Cathedral. 'Can one footprint imprint on our collective consciousness and create change? A walk; a pilgrimage, an odyssey … for the planet. Five hundred miles from London to Glasgow Cop26: Eight weeks, 56 days and more than 56 host organisations, over a thousand walkers and thirty rolls of 16mm celluloid film.’ Of Walking On Thin Ice follows the journey of more than a thousand walkers from London and Bristol to Glasgow for the COP26 Climate Conference. 


31 May / 1 Jun The Wild Coverdale Flower Festival

A simple celebration of spring. Including Sustainable Flower demonstration. 


21 Sep Whole Church and Outdoor Worship

St Stephen's, West Bowling. A workshop to explore the power of outdoor and intergenerational worship for our churches. Join us as we discover how all generations can worship and encounter God together, especially when we go outside and worship in God’s creation.

More details and booking

Autumn 2024 Saving Creation Silver Course

7-9pm online. 8 week course. For those wishing to upskill in their own eco journey or be better equipped to fulfil a Parish Environment Officer or similar role. Express your interest now. 


Events and Webinars - National

18 Mar Franciscan Spirituality: Traditions of Christian Spirituality

7.30pm. This session will consider the writings by and about Francis of Assisi and his early followers, focusing on his teachings about poverty and ecology. We will explore what various Franciscan writings (medieval and modern) can say to Christian spirituality and to the Church today, particularly regarding ecological crisis, the economy and marginalised people. 


21 Mar / 9 Apr / 15 May Your Voice Heard - Hope for the Future Training

One of the biggest things you can do to tackle the climate and nature crises is speak to your elected representatives to call for policy change. With a general election coming up telling our MPs to put climate change and nature at the top of their agenda is more important than ever. Workshop to help you know where to start. 


27 Mar Running out of Steam: Should Christians Welcome the End of Fossil Fuels?

The fossil fuel age is coming to an end, one way or another. What’s life going to look like afterwards? This talk covers some of the practicalities involved in weaning the UK and the world off the cheap abundance we’ve gotten used to, and poses questions about how Christians can contribute to this life-changing process. 


Apr / May / Jun / Jul Green Christian Online Food-focused L_O_A_F Workshops

3 April LOCAL – defining local food – what are the boundaries?

1 May ORGANIC – agroecology, regenerative farming, organic farming: what’s the difference?

5 June ANIMAL-FRIENDLY – has the church made any progress?

3 July FAIRLY TRADED – what’s next after the closure of Traidcraft?


9 Apr Electric Vehicle Charging Points in Churches

2pm. C of E Webinar aimed at any church interested in providing EV charging services either to parishioners or the wider community. 


15 / 17 Apr Faith for Climate Justice Workshops

5.30pm. In the light of forthcoming UK elections do you want to know what “climate justice” means? Are you keen to find out how a justice-centered approach addresses the climate crisis? Are you looking for a welcoming space where you can bring your unique spiritual and/or religious motivations to tackle the climate emergency? 


17 Apr Stories to Change our World - How Fiction can Help us Create a Better Future

What is the role of fiction in creating a fairer and greener economy? How can we use stories to open up imaginative possibilities in a world losing its way? Tony Emerson will share insights from his novel Unlikely Alliances, and its hopeful scenario, and why he turned to fiction as a tool in his campaigning; while Jeremy Williams will look at the wider world of climate fiction and novels with Joy in Enough themes. 


9 May Eco Church Prayer Forum

12pm. The A Rocha UK churches team will lead prayers, with the opportunity to meet in breakout groups to connect and pray with others in the Eco Church community – for the work of caring for creation in our churches and for each other.


8-16 Jun Churches Count on Nature / Love Your Burial Ground Week

Start to plan your churchyard survey or community activates now. Registration coming soon on the Caring For God’s Acre website. 

More details


New: Eco Church Poster

Brighten up your church notice board and let your congregation and community know what you are up to on your Eco church journey with this new ready to print poster. 


Churchyard Toolkit

This new toolkit for parishes offers a helping hand to make the most of your churchyard. Whatever the size and context of your churchyard, this God given piece of land, has the potential to be cherished and to serve the church and the wider community. It offers guidance on things to consider for each type of churchyard use e.g. when developing a quiet garden, a heritage hub or a energy generation hub.

Read more

Intercession Materials

Pray and Fast for the Climate produce monthly bulletins containing a wealth of prayer points to inform your personal or church intercessions. 

Read more

Eco Funding Support

A suite of resources is available on the diocese of Leeds website to help you plan and deliver your church creation care plans. Watch the webinar on Planning & Delivering Your Net Zero Carbon Fundraising Appeal, use the template Case for Support document to gather all your funding information in one place and review the lists of grant funders to see where you might be able to best find the funds you need. Read more.

Funding Opportunities from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the government’s levelling up agenda and provides funding for local investment by March 2025. Alongside businesses, community groups, cultural and voluntary sector organisations are being invited to apply for a share of funds. There is a decarbonisation stream for net zero projects as well as other community project funding. More details for North Yorkshire and West Yorkshire

Magazine Magic
A ready to print magazine article for your Parish Magazine!

The Big Bank Switch

The climate crisis isn’t just happening, it’s being funded – sometimes by those of us who are most concerned about caring for God’s creation, but hold a bank account with a fossil fuel investing bank.  

Read and reproduce the article here

More magazine articles?

All our eco magazine articles are archived on the Diocese of Leeds Environment Magazine Magic webpage.

Click here

Eco Top Tips

Find a weekly top tip here for your parish newsletter:

Year 1

Year 2

Book Reviews

Why not include a review from our Eco Book Club in your parish magazine? Thirteen reviews are waiting for you, just click on Book Reviews half way down the page here


Net Zero Carbon Funding Officer - Diocese of Leeds

We are looking for a new 3 day a week, 24 month fixed term Funding Officer to join the passionate, vibrant and friendly team in the Diocese of Leeds. In line with the Church of England’s Routemap to Net Zero Carbon, the Diocese of Leeds has an ambition to achieve net zero carbon (NZC) by 2030 across our diocesan estate. To support our extensive programme of work we are seeking an experienced Funding Officer to work alongside a growing vibrant and committed diocesan team of NZC officers. 

Find out more about this role here

Comedy Corner

If we don’t laugh we’ll cry: helping you through the grief of ecocide...

This cartoon from Dave Walker made us smile:

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