Greening our church

The facade St John's Wood Church, behind a snow-covered Christmas treeWe are committed to reducing our impact on the environment as far as possible. Since 2008 we have been implementing a structured plan to reduce waste and energy use across the whole range of our activities. The theme of our Christian responsibility to care for the environment is also taken up in preaching and prayers, especially in October, when there is often a special service or event to draw attention to this area of life.

The Diocese of London (of which we are a part) is signed up to the Church of England’s national campaign, “Shrinking the Footprint“, which aims to reduce the climate impact of our churches and our congregations. Click on the link above to find out more.

Green Tables
Four times a year, a “Green Table” is set up after church services, with varied and topical displays to help members of the congregation to live more greenly. More information about forthcoming Green Tables is available at the bottom of the page.

Our Green Plan

Twice a year, those who are in charge of running the different areas of parish life meet under the chairship of a churchwarden to review progress under the Green Plan.

What has been achieved so far?
Since formulating our Green Plan we have implemented it in a variety of ways. This has included:

  • The recycling logorecycling of waste paper
  • printing our orders of service and pewslips on recycled paper
  • installing compost bins and water butts throughout the church grounds
  • using energy-efficient light bulbs wherever we can
  • switching the Church and its buildings to a Green Energy tariff
  • raising awareness of unused appliances and switching them off
  • using recyclable and fairly-produced cups, plates, and cutlery for all of our parish functions (through a wonderful organisation called Little Cherry)

What is still to be done?
We are only part way through our plan, and still have plenty ideas to implement. These often involve longer term investments in the building.

  • The church is about to be relit; energy efficiency is a key element in the brief given to the lighting designer.
  • Although we are on a Green Tariff, our energy supplier does use fossil fuels to supply other customers. We will be looking to switch to a completely “green” supplier when our existing contract expires in late 2014.
  • The roof of St Mark's church in Harrogate, with its newly-installed solar panelsIn the longer term, we are interested in generating solar-powered energy from our church roof, but we are leaving that option to be explored when we next have to do major work on the roof.

Green Table

Once every three months our green group runs a stall after the Sunday morning services, raising awareness of green issues and selling appropriate items. This year’s dates are below, and will also be found on the calendar nearer the time.

14th December 2014 – Dreaming of a Green Christmas: locally sourced Christmas decorations