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 2020 we achieved the Eco Church Silver Award and are now committed to achieving gold. Chelmsford Diocese is committed to being Carbon Neutral target 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:
Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
praise him in the heights!
Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his host!
Praise him, sun and moon;
praise him, all you shining stars!
Praise him, you highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens!
Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for he commanded and they were created.
He established them for ever and ever;
he fixed their bounds,
which cannot be passed. Psalm 148
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).
#Waveofprayer2020 Members of our churches from all around Chelmsford Diocese recorded video-prayers for the season of creation which runs from September 1st to October 4th each year. Listen to the inspiring wave here: #waveofprayer
Greening the Church Online Conference
On the 13th June 2020, Chelmsford Cathedral hosted its first ever online conference: Greening the Church. The aim of the conference was to learn about environmental issues and to hear about the Eco Church Scheme run by A Rocha, a Christian environmental charity. Occurring during an international pandemic as it did, focused the minds of the participants and presenters, as we considered how we might imagine a new, greener world, post-lockdown. There was a sense that there was a unique opportunity to make lasting changes. The day was recorded and all the videos from the day can be viewed online here.
Sustaining God’s Creation: Food and Farming
Saturday 12th June on Zoom
Organised by the Eastern Region Cathedrals.
The cathedrals’ conference is the first event in a new initiative: Sustaining God’s Creation. Starting with a focus on food and farming, it will look at these key aspects of life in East Anglia in the light of the Christian faith and the role that both individuals and the church can play in living more sustainably.
Opening the conference will be the Rt Revd Graham Usher, Bishop of Norwich, who has recently been appointed to lead the Church of England’s Environment Programme. The speakers include Dr Hilary Marlow, affiliated Lecturer in the Faculty of Divinity at the University of Cambridge, Revd Professor Simon Oliver, Van Mildert Professor in the University of Durham, Revd Professor Mike Rayner of the University of Oxford who is Chair of Sustain, and Jake Fiennes, Director of Conservation at the Holkham Estate in Norfolk.
To hear recordings from the day please see the Sustainable Living Conference website.
Caring for Creation
The scientist and theologian 20th May, 7.30pm on zoom.
Join Dr Jon Hawkings and Canon Imogen Nay in conversation about climate change and what we can do about it.
Dr Jon Hawkings is an environmental biogeochemist. He graduated with a MSci degree in Physical Geography from the University of Bristol, where he ‘fell in love with ice’. In 2015 he gained a PhD in Glacial Biogeochemistry, with research based on the Greenland Ice Sheet. He took part in three post doctorate projects at Bristol and in 2018 he was awarded a Marie Skłodowska Curie Fellowship from the European Commission, researching the role of glacial freshwater on downstream ecosystems. Jon has undertaken research in Svalbard, Greenland, Antarctica, India, Chile, and the Bahamas. Rapidly melting ice has severe implications for sea level rise, terrestrial and marine ecosystems, the Earth’s energy balance, and by extension human lives – the coldest regions of the planet will affect us all in years to come.
Canon Imogen Nay is a practical theologian who is involved in the Christian environmental movement. She led her church in Rugby to receive the Gold Eco Award through an imaginative programme of worship, community events, garden re-design and learning. She is soon to embark on a doctorate putting contemporary non-fiction nature-writing into conversation with a Christian theology of creation. She is keen to explore what the most effective drivers for change in personal habits, community living and governmental policy are.
'We have been working on this for some time, making changes in the way we care for our buildings and in our practices as a community. As work has needed to be done, the Works Committee have kept sustainability high on their agenda: for example, in the Chapter House, dual flush lavatory cisterns, auto shut off taps and movement sensitive lighting have been installed. Lights have been changed to LED, we have reduced our plastic usage and increased recycling. Refreshments provided for lettings are Fair Trade and hospitality uses Fair Trade tea and coffee. We have much more that we are doing to help play our part in achieving Net Zero by 2030 although in the current financial climate this may be a challenge in some areas. Gradual changes which we are all making soon become a regular pattern, so we continue to make our Cathedral a green environment, caring for creation and being good stewards of God’s earth'.
Canon Imogen Nay
Imogen would love to talk to you about your Eco Church Journey. Do get in touch.
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.