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New guide to 'decarbonising' places of worship

Reducing the carbon footprint of places of worship


We are all conscious of the need to reduce our carbon footprint, not only in our homes but in our communities and places of employment. We were therefore delighted to see ‘Environmental Stewardship in Places of Worship: A Guide to Reducing our Carbon Footprint’, published by the Catholic Diocese of Salford, UK, which outlines practical ways to reduce our carbon footprint at our places of worship too.


Overcoming reliance on fossil fuels

Stone church with roof made of leaves

The authors, Dr Chris Jones and Dr Chris Walsh from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of Manchester, highlight two key areas where places of worship have a very practical role to play:

  • Supporting the resilience of communities and nature in coping with climate change, and

  • Overcoming reliance on fossil fuels and supporting local communities to decarbonise’, that is, to reduce emissions of carbon (CO2 and CH4) and other greenhouse gases.

This very practical guide—which was created following consultation with synagogues, mosques, churches and other places of worship—focuses on the second action.


What does the guide cover?


The guide acknowledges how how building ownership, leasing and alteration considerations can influence what’s possible across four main areas:

  • Reducing heating use

  • Generating electricity onsite

  • Changing heating supply

  • Travel to worship

It also looks at green technologies such heat pumps, solar power & LED lights and rainwater harvesting.


Additional faith-specific guides


The guide includes three useful case studies to see how other places of worship have taken steps to reduce their carbon footprint. These are:

  • Kol Chai Reform Synagogue

  • Brahmall Methodist Church

  • Saint Mary of Furness Catholic Church

The authors have also produced complementary faith-specific guides which are linked within the Further Resources section.


If you're not sure where to start or whether you have the resources to tackle everything you want to achieve, the guide includes ‘decision trees’ to focus on your priorities and tips on how to manage the carbon footprint of place of worship, all while being conscious of the cost considerations.


You can download the guide HERE.


About the guide


Environmental Stewardship in Places of Worship: A Guide to Reducing our Carbon Footprint was written by Dr Chris Jones and Dr Chris Walsh from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of Manchester and published by the Catholic Diocese of Salford, UK. It was funded by the National Lottery Community Fund ‘Together for Our Planet’ programme.


For more information, visit https://linktr.ee/ClimateandWorship


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