How to get a church to Net Zero

Whether your church is in the early stages of your journey with climate justice or you have been taking action for years, we’re here to support you with resources and encouragement. 

Energy Audits and Grant Funding 

The Diocese of Bristol is funding free energy audits for all churches to plan their route to Net Zero by 2030. To make sure your church receives this, please ask your PCC treasurer or other relevant person to complete the energy footprint tool and return the application form sent to them by email so that we can book in your audit. 

Following your audit, the Diocese is then making available up to £10,000 in grant funding for each church to implement some of the recommendations of the report. More information on accessing this money will be posted here later. 

The results of the audits will enable us to plan further support and programmes to make decarbonising your church as easy as possible. The results of the audits will enable us to plan further support and programmes to make decarbonising your church as easy as possible.

Access the application form here 

Other funding may be available via:

Fundraising and trusts - Diocese of Bristol 

Guidance on Grants - Wiltshire Historic Churches Trust

Net Zero Carbon Checklist

On our shared journey to bring our collective net carbon footprint down to zero, there are a number of steps churches need to take to make their buildings more energy efficient. To explore these steps, many churches pay for an independent energy audit. For those of you who aren't in a position to make this investment, we've created a helpful 'Practical Path to Net Zero checklist' to create a clear and simple action plan to reduce the carbon footprint of your building. 

You can download two versions of this checklist:

 - a simple PDF to print out

 - an editable form to fill in using a computer or tablet. 

Baseline Carbon Emissions - Energy Footprint Tool 

‘‘If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.’

We need data, we’re asking someone from every church to enter their energy information into the Energy Footprint Tool. 
The Energy footprint tool is the only way we have to measure and understand carbon emissions from churches, halls and other parish buildings. The tool is designed to enable a parish to submit energy consumption and cost data and tell us about any renewable energy installations or tariffs that a parish has in place. It is essential for calculating the emissions for each parish and church. By filling it in you enable us and the national church to understand emissions and therefore understand if we are reducing carbon or if more support is needed. 

The tool will also help you understand your Parish carbon footprint and track your progress to achieving Net Zero. So please ensure that every year the PCC completes the EFT along with the other parish returns.
Energy Footprint Tool | The Church of England

Other useful links and organisations

Young Christian Climate Network is an action-focused community of young Christians in the UK aged 18-30, choosing to follow Jesus in the pursuit of climate justice

Caring for God's Acre is the conservation charity for Burial Grounds across the UK and protecting wildlife 

Green Christian is a group of ordinary Christians from all backgrounds and traditions. Inspired by our faith, we do what we can to care for Creation through prayer, living simply, public witness, campaigning and mutual encouragement.

Greenpeace is a movement of people who are passionate about defending the natural world from destruction. Our vision is a greener, healthier and more peaceful planet, one that can sustain life for generations to come

The John Ray Initiative is an educational charity with a vision to bring together scientific and Christian understandings of the environment in a way that can be widely communicated and lead to effective action. 

Operation Noah, which was set up in 2004 to provide a Christian response to the climate crisis, is a small charity with big ambitions 

Transition Towns is a movement of communities coming together to reimagine and rebuild our world. Here we explain what it is, why people do it, how the movement started and give you a sense of our underpinning principles and approach.

Christian Action Bristol is the name for Together4Bristol’s ‘Politics and Social Action’ sphere of life. The heart behind CAB is to see our city transformed for good, releasing its full potential and building Bristol as a city of hope

The Climate Emergency Toolkit provides a route map to help all members of your church or Christian organisation respond to the climate emergency. Step by step, it contains simple but powerful actions that will equip every member to have an impact far beyond your own walls, and to influence the decisions of those in power. UK churches have declared or recognised the climate emergency. Is your church on the map? Climate Emergency Toolkit 

The People’s Plan for Nature is a plan created for the people, by the people of the UK – a vision for the future of nature, and the actions we must all take to protect and renew it 

The Diocese of Bristol Environment and Climate Justice Policy - Diocese of Bristol’s Environment Policy  (updated annually)

Environmental stories from around the Diocese of Bristol - Diocese of Bristol’s Environment roundup (coming soon)

A short overview of running a Forest Church session from the Diocese of Gloucester 

This document has been created by the Cathedral and Church Buildings Division, drawing extensively on existing work from Oxford Diocese, and with contributions from the Church Energy Advisors Network and attendees at the 2022 DAC conference - Practical suggestions to help parishes save energy and money

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