Thursday, 2 February 2012

Year of the Environment Survey

The Diocese of York celebrated 2011 as the Year of the Environment. We're trying to find out how people and churches engaged with this initiative - please could you spare a few minutes to answer these questions? 

Eleanor Course

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Photovoltaic panels at St Edward's Dringhouses, York

St Edward the Confessor Church in Dringhouses, York, has fitted photovoltaic panels to the roof of their Scout Hut.

"With the experience of photovoltaic panels on our roof at home, with the enthusiasm of Martin (the vicar) I presented the idea to the PCC early last year.  I emphasised the significant reduction in the churches carbon footprint by installing solar and the probable financial benefits to the church after the initial outlay. The PCC agreed to put some money into the pot and the church membership was invited to offer donations. Solartwin, our preferred installer of the three quotations, advised that the Scout Hall roof had the best aspect as it faced south and had minimal overshadowing.

"The Scout committee interviewed me about the concept and were agreeable.  We obtained diocesan approval and planning permission.The generation meter reading is already steadily increasing! This will be of benefit to the church,the Scouts and the local community groups who use the facilities of the church."

If you're interesting in finding out more about fitting photovoltaic panels to your church or church buildings, there's information here.  

Eleanor Course

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Year of the Environment Legacy

In 2011, we were focussing on the Environment, and we ended the year with a legacy for the future. 

Through December and January we're planting 400 trees on diocesan glebe land.  These trees will increase the biodiversity of our land holdings and offset some of the carbon emissions that we generate as a church.  

Highlights of the Year of the Environment have included the bird box sent to every church and church school, the Lent Course, the Big Environment Celebration in York Minster in May, and the art exhibition which toured churches throughout the Diocese.   Also in the diocese there have been a number of local events organised within deaneries.

We hope that the initiatives and projects from this year will have inspired and equipped you to make changes in your lives and in the life of your church, to care for our world, God's creation.   Thank you to all who have taken part.

Graham Andrews, Archbishop’s Advisor for the Environment

Friday, 16 December 2011

Winter is wonderful too!

As 2011 and the Archbishop’s ‘Year of the Environment’ comes to a close, the Winter update on the flora and fauna in the grounds of Bishopthorpe Palace has been published today.

In the last of these seasonal updates, written by Garry O’Reagan, the Head Gardener, he explains that winter is just as important as any other season in the Palace grounds. The Archbishop of York added: “Whilst the conservation and environmental work will continue into 2012, I want to thank Garry not only for all his hard work in the garden but also for taking the time to write these updates for the website.  We are custodians of a garden that has been created over hundreds of years and we hope to aid its growth and development for many generations to come. Let us have the same attitude to the fantastic planet God has given us.”

You can read Garry's Winter update here.

Friday, 9 December 2011


We've been made aware of a new idea called TendaGrave - if you're someone who spends time in churchyards, you might be interested in this.

Tendagrave is a free service for people who cannot for whatever reason tend a family or friend's grave. It will put you in touch with other people in a similar situation. You then offer to tend a grave in your local area and, in return, your loved one's grave will also be lovingly looked after.


Thursday, 8 December 2011

Churches urged to apply to new £10m Government green fund

The Church of England has welcomed the Government announcement today of a new £10 million Local Energy Assessment Fund which gives community groups, including churches, a chance to bid for money.

The new Fund, announced by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, DECC, will provide grants for around 200 community organisations, including churches, to undertake energy efficiency projects and renewable energy generation in their area.  With a Christian presence in every community, the CofE's churches are perfectly placed to house local energy efficiency projects, said David Shreeve, the Church of England's national environment adviser.

"It is good news that DECC consider churches and other faith groups as vital parts of the local community. The deadline for application and delivery is tight but many churches are currently considering ways of harnessing renewable energy for their buildings and this may just be the spur they need.

“A recent communication I received from 10 Downing St stressed the Prime Minister’s recognition that Church assets often sit at the heart of the community   Shrinking the Footprint the Church of England's national environment campaign, provides advice and toolkits for the local church as it rolls out vital green community projects as part of its ministry and mission."

There is around £50,000 available for each successful community to be used to help assess the potential for energy efficiency and local renewable energy generation and get things started in their area. This is a short-term scheme where work will need to be completed by end of March 2012.

Interested communities can apply via the Energy Saving Trust and money will be allocated in two rounds. The first round closes at noon on 22 December 2011 with successful applicants notified in the week beginning 9 January 2012. The second round will close to applications at noon on 20 January 2012 with successful communities notified at the end January.  Full details can be found at

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Yorkshire Living Churchyard Project Autumn Newsletter

The Yorkshire Living Churchyard Project autumn newsletter is now available, with stories about bees and butterflies, the 2011 Open Churchyards, and news on headstone cleaning.  You can download it here.

Eleanor Course