Pilita Clark: rediscovering older traditions of a relationship with ‘our common home’


Pilita Clark in the FT reports that more than 3,500 churches in Britain, from several denominations, are now using renewable energy. Others have registered an interest in doing so. Nearly 700 churches have individually signed up for green power tariffs through the Big Church Switch website, which offers a simple way for churches to shift to green tariffs. Some of the companies benefiting from the churches’ shift are smaller green energy groups such as Ecotricity and Good Energy, rather than the larger “big six” suppliers.] 

Switching to renewable energy suppliers

  • At least 100 Quaker meeting houses now deal directly with Good Energy.
  • Some synagogues and mosques have also made the shift.
  • More than 900 Salvation Army buildings have done so
  • 16 Catholic dioceses have switched to green electricity

More than 400 churches, church buildings and vicarages already have solar panels installed, with other developments including the first carbon-neutral churches. Other measures adopted have included the installation of ground source heat pumps.

Nearly 2,000 Catholic parishes have switched from conventional energy to green electricity in 16 dioceses. Some made the decision after Pope Francis issued an encyclical last year urging the world to cut its dependence on fossil fuels. John Arnold, Bishop of Salford, one of the 16 dioceses to have switched, said, ““Pope Francis challenges us all to ‘care for our common home’, and by adopting renewable energy we will directly help people threatened, and already most severely affected, by climate change. There are many ways in which we may respond to the threat and the reality of climate change and adopting renewable energy for our church buildings must be a priority.”

Click link and watch the mobile graphic – link tweeted by Roslyn Cook @#FossilFree – but scroll down a long way, its well worth it.


The Church of England’s Shrinking the Footprint campaign is encouraging dioceses, cathedrals and parishes to reduce energy bills and lower carbon emissions through practical steps, from installing energy-efficient lightbulbs to switching to renewable energy.

Nicholas Holtam, the Bishop of Salisbury and the Church of England’s lead bishop on the environment, said the churches’ move was a response to a complex environmental crisis. “It is important that Christians rediscover older traditions of a godly relationship of humanity to the wider created order,” he said. “One simple thing we can do in response to such a crisis is to switch to using clean energy in our homes, communities, schools and places of worship.”





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