If you hire inflatable play equipment, including bouncy castles, you must make sure it is safe for others to use.
Learn how greener churches can protect the earth, reduce outgoings and encourage a more sustainable future for their communities.
All churches have the opportunity to make a difference, so we put together a few ideas we have seen in action.
Bees are essential to the pollination of flowers. According to Country File, to make one pound of honey, bees fly over 55,000 miles. You can create a bee-friendly rest-stop at your church by:
Benefact Trust and Caring for God's Acre have shared some top tips for managing your churchyard to help protect the biodiversity of your burial grounds.
The Church of England has set targets for all parts of the church to work to become carbon ‘net zero’ by 2030. They provide resources, including a practical path to net zero.
Encourage your congregation to reduce their carbon
Exploring alternatives to the daily routine can help break habits that lead to long-term positive changes. Lent is an excellent time to encourage this but any time is good. Suggestions for lent include -
Are there ways to encourage your congregation and other church users to cycle? Introducing areas where bikes can be stored safely at the church is a great start. You could also create a map of cycle routes to the church for your website.
Your church should be well-lit to help reduce the risk of accidents such as slips and trips occurring. Although they cost more initially, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) use less energy than traditional bulbs and therefore have less impact on the environment (and your electricity bill). You can visit the Parish Buying website to learn more and benefit from negotiated rates from trusted church suppliers.
Solar panels only require daylight rather than direct sunlight, so even on a cloudy day, they can generate electricity. For information about safe installation, our risk management guidance on solar panels.
Look for grants or loans that might be available to fund solar panels at your church. A quick search on Google should bring up opportunities in your local area.
In some churches, air-source heat pumps may be a suitable alternative to traditional heating systems. There are examples where these systems blend well within a church and it may be possible to site external compressor apparatus on the church roof.
This form of heating can heat a church to a comfortable temperature within a short time and may help to reduce heating costs. Any system must be installed and maintained by a competent engineer. We suggest you speak to your Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC) in the first instance.
Following an audit of 200 churches in 2013, the Church of England has encouraged 5,500 churches to switch to energy suppliers that only put electricity into the national grid from 100% renewable sources.
You can find out more about how to switch on the Big Church Switch website.
Keeping heat inside the church can help reduce energy bills. Historic England gives details of the types of roofs that are compatible and guidelines regarding installation. If your church is listed, you are required to seek listed building consent.
Single-use plastics such as cutlery and crockery can be easily avoided by using traditional washable items such as china plates and metal cutlery when serving food and drinks at your church. However, this isn’t always possible, for example while on the move, so disposable items made of materials such as bamboo and paper can be good alternatives.
Some single-use plastics can be avoided by using traditional washable items such as metal cutlery when serving food and drinks. Where this is not possible, disposable items made from biodegradable materials such as bamboo and paper are good alternatives.
Ecochurch offers a free online survey so you can gain an understanding of how eco-friendly your church is and how to improve. Visit the Ecochurch website.