Caring about our world
Public Policy Group
The Diocese of Southwark at its March 2007 meeting received, debated and approved a Diocesan policy on the environment. This followed on a Church of England General Synod debate that had called on all dioceses to develop an environmental policy and to appoint an Environmental Officer.
The Synod meeting approved a resolution that read as follows:
The Diocese of Southwark through its central structures, deaneries and parishes is committed to:
- Affirming the fifth mark of mission 'to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth' as a central part of our worship, life, work and mission.
- Supporting the Diocesan Environmental Officer in encouraging discussion of environmental concerns. Working in partnership with the Diocesan Communications Department to ensure that information is easily accessible.
- Taking our environmental footprint fully into account in our mission, worship, study and education, training, pastoral, administrative and other programmes and projects. Reviewing on a regular basis our individual (church members) and corporate footprint (central structures and parishes).
- Increasing awareness of environmental issues within our parishes and communities whether urban, suburban or rural. Wherever appropriate working with local authorities and other organisations in developing appropriate action.
- Maintaining up to date information on the social, economic, ethical and theological elements of environmental issues.
- Introducing environmental audits of all premises and properties over a period of 5 years. Advice and guidelines for Audits will be given to parishes.
- Encouraging individuals and parishes to consider the environmental impact on all future plans.
- Taking into consideration the potential financial implications that will arise from changes both for the life style of individual Christians and within parishes and Diocesan structures.
- Publicly and consistently challenging society and government to confront the obstacles to sustainability that are presented by the consumer lifestyle and by the growth economy.
- Holding a formal review debate and discussion in the Diocesan Synod on the environmental policy and associated issues every three years.
The resolution is explored in more detail in the section below.
The diocese appointed the Revd Dr Barry Goodwin to be the Diocesan Environmental Officer combining this work within his responsibilities for Social Responsibility and his parish development responsibilities in the Croydon Episcopal Area.