Chelmsford Cathedral is committed to caring for the environment and has put in place an action plan to ensure that we can achieve our goals.
In September 2021 the Cathedral achieved the Eco Church Gold Award. Chelmsford Diocese is committed to being Carbon Neutral by 2030 and is working hard to achieve that across is churches and schools.
Christians believe that the whole world was made by our Creator God. He blessed what He had made and said that it was good (Genesis 1). The natural world has intrinsic value, of itself it glorifies God. The whole of creation praises God in its very existence.
The experience of living through the Covid-19 pandemic has changed, hopefully long-term, the way that we relate to our natural environments. Change has had to happen across the Cathedral’s activities, and in all areas, during a time of crisis, but it has also created lots of opportunity which has helped us not only to achieve the Gold Eco-Church Award but also enabled creative and eco-friendly ways of working.
Significant changes were made by the cathedral’s operations team to support sustainability across the estate and help achieve the cathedral’s pledge to be carbon neutral by 2030. The team has ended the use of disposable cups and plates, overseen the installation of LED bulbs in the cathedral itself and the purchase of renewable electricity and motion sensor lighting. In tandem the congregation were encouraged to take their own eco surveys and make changes to go green at home.
While change was taking place in the Cathedral buildings, new green initiatives were also being developed in other areas of cathedral life. The introduction of Muddy Church encouraged the community to explore local ecology with hands-on sessions including ponddipping and vegetable growing. Children attending a new weekly family service in Guy Harlings Garden created bug hotels and bird feeders to help native wildlife thrive and in partnership with the RSPB an action plan was agreed to encourage birds into the grounds.
A special community art project ‘Lament and Hope’, encouraged reflections on pandemic experiences through the making of recycled fabric postcards. The project and subsequent interactive exhibition held in the cathedral revealed how much nature has been essential in helping people during the crisis and the deepening appreciation of the natural environment. The cathedral was amazed at the range and number of postcards submitted and that so many referenced local walks, landscapes and birds.
Rev'd James Gilder, Diocesan Environmental Officer.
James is putting together a strategy for the diocese in preparation for making the diocese carbon neutral by 2030, as agreed by the national church synod.
Chelmsford Cathedral is encouraging its members to take the Creation Care survey to see how they can make improvements in their personal lifestyle to benefit the environment. Follow the link to take the survey. If you are a member of the cathedral community, you can select Chelmsford Cathedral as your church.
Humans are part of that natural world, not separate from it; our health and well-being depend upon the health and well-being of the whole of the created world. It is in our best interests to care for, love and respect nature. We should be humble before it not proud and conceited. God has placed limits on what we should take from nature, respecting that it too needs fallow time, that not all the land should be cultivated for food, and that we should leave space for animals and the poor to take what they need from the land. (Leviticus, 23:1-22, 25:1-24).