Taking action to protect the planetĀ 

Our climate change story in the Diocese of Leicester is an ongoing one in which we are striving to reduce the environmental impact of our buildings and activities including our parish churches and our Cathedral. Encouraging Eco Communities is one of our five strategic priorities as a diocese, building on our agreed aim of achieving carbon net zero emissions by 2030.  

Our Bishop’s Youth Council has been influential in challenging our thinking and practices on this area, and we are discovering a groundswell of support and passion to engage with ways to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and to sustain and renew the life on earth. We want to encourage church communities to be attentive to the distribution of environmental benefits and burdens locally and globally, paying particular attention to the impact on vulnerable communities. We want to invite them to take an active role in fostering greater environmental justice. 

Led by the Bishop of Leicester, the diocese has continued to facilitate and foster church work to reduce environmental impact, including establishing a Diocesan Environment Group which helped develop a sustainable travel toolkit to help our communities in their Eco Church journeys.  Back in 2020 he blogged about the importance of listening to young people who were taking the lead on this issue. Last year he signed a joint a joint letter urging world leaders at COP26 to take urgent action.  General Synod in July 2022 will discuss plans to help churches and schools achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.

This Church of England commitment to reaching carbon-zero by 2030 is a significant challenge given that we have so many historic buildings but despite delays during the pandemic when so much church activity had to cease, we in Leicester and Leicestershire are working towards becoming an Eco Diocese accredited by environmental organisation A Rocha.  

Importantly, the Diocese of Leicester (including Leicester Cathedral) has disinvested from fossil fuel companies and in March 2022 the Diocesan Board of Finance and Bishop’s Council also voted not to reinvest in them in future . 

Current cathedral works will reduce our environmental impact long term and its new proposed building is specified to Passivhaus criteria. Cathedral Gardens was designed with bee and bird friendly planting which will be restored after the current construction work. Last year (2021) the Cathedral held a season of events and sermons focussing on Creation and our responsible response as stewards of this good earth. 

You can read more about eco action here

First published on: 27th June 2022
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