St John’s is committed to caring for God’s earth in different areas of our life and work.
St John’s has joined with the Diocese and hundreds of organisations and individuals in declaring a Nature Emergency for Sheffield. Please consider signing up as an individual:
10th May - Message from St John's Eco Church group: please share this widely!
On 12 June at 9:30 -1:30 the Diocese hosts a free A Rocha Eco Church festival on Zoom. Interactive workshops have something for everyone, including sessions for all ages! As a silver award Eco Church we hope people from St John's will support this event organised by Cathy Rhodes (DEO) and the Working Group.
Harriet Carty, Director of 'Caring for God's Acre' speaks on why churchyards are so brilliant for nature, why recording wildlife is important and welcoming both nature and people to your churchyard (part of Churches Count on Nature week). Listen to landscape architect Nathan Edwards on where to start with sustainable church green spaces, or Revd Canon Prof John Rodwell on 'Growing with Trees' alongside the Tiny Forest team from Bristol. Dr Nicky Rivers of the Wildlife Trust will talk about nature recovery networks, and Lu Skerratt-Love speaks about Forest Church. If buildings, boilers and heating are your thing the session on reducing carbon footprint has quick wins and ideas with national CofE lead Catherine Ross, with specialist heating advisor Matt Fulford and Archdeacon Malcolm Chamberlain.
As Christians we lament and grieve for for the climate and nature emergency and Hannah Malcolm (Thought for the Day speaker, editor of 'Words for a Dying World' and 2019 Church Times theology slam winner), is alongside Bishop Pete to lead a room of Lament. Bishop Sophie will be in a session for all ages to listen and speak with younger people, and all are welcome to join the founder of Muddy Church Lucie Hutson leading us in 'Wondering and Wandering' together! Jo Chamberlain will talk about Climate Justice and A Rocha's Helen Stephens will give expert advice on the Eco Church journey. Rachel Mander from Hope for the Future and Young Christians Climate Network is with Linda McAvan OBE (European Climate Foundation, previously MEP) to give expert advice in lobbying our MPs in the lead up to COP26. All are then welcome to a Q&A chaired by Archdeacon Javaid Iqbal, with our MP Olivia Blake and Alex Stafford, MP for Rother Valley. Book your place and get more info at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/eco-church-festival-with-churches-count-on-nature-2021-tickets-146787807283
Feb 2021 we were awarded the Eco Church SILVER Award.
To find out more about Eco Church download the leaflet here.
We have recently been awarded the Eco Church Silver Award.
Click here to see the presentation about ECOCHURCH
During the summer of 2020 in lockdown, we stopped mowing our grass to allow the wildflowers to grow. They really were lovely:
Articles of interest that have been written by our Climate Crisis Group Members:
Prayers for Climate Sunday
Caring for Gods Creation
How Green is your Church part 1
How Green is your Church part 2
Eco Church to Eco Diocese
Diocesan Synod votes to declare a climate and ecological emergency
1st December 2020
On Saturday 28 November, the Diocese of Sheffield voted to declare a climate and ecological emergency.
At the latest meeting of the Diocesan Synod, the legislative decision-making group of the Diocese, a four-part motion was passed, lending full support to the national Church of England’s aim to reach Net Zero carbon emissions by 2030.
The meeting, conducted over Zoom, agreed that:
This Synod, reflecting on our Christian commitment to live as Lights for Christ and care for God’s creation:
declares a climate and ecological emergency, AND
supports the 2020 General Synod motion for all parts of the Church to reach ‘Net Zero’ carbon emissions by 2030 AND
requests the Diocesan Environment Working Group to produce a detailed updated Environment and Climate Justice Policy to submit to the July 2021 Diocesan Synod for approval, AND
commits to the A Rocha UK Eco Church and Eco Diocese programmes.
The motion was led by Cathy Rhodes, who is the Diocesan Environment Officer. Speaking to key leaders in the diocese, including the Bishops of Sheffield and Doncaster, Cathy said:
“We must respond as Christians for the sake of the earth and all living things, which are precious to God, and for our own sake as our wellbeing links to that of the wider world. This motion is also needed for the sake of people living in poverty. The threads of mercy, social justice and climate care are part of the unbreakable link between our Creator God, all people and the earth. Ultimately action is needed for God’s sake. It is an ecological emergency as ecosystems are under threat. Our planet’s wildlife populations have gone down by 68% since 1970 (WWF Report 2020) and this loss is a direct result of human activity. Our government has already declared a climate emergency and so have all our local Councils.”
Jackie Butcher also presented the case for climate justice in her role as the World Development Advisor, focussing on one of our partner diocese’ – the Diocese of Bondo. There was also a powerful plea for change made via video from Thomas, age 9. Thomas made the video for the occasion – it can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3jh1kHCn_s
In February 2020, the Church of England’s General Synod set new targets for all parts of the church to work to become carbon ‘net zero’ by 2030. The intention was clear - all parts of the church should take action and increase efforts to reduce emissions. Twenty-two dioceses have carried or are planning to debate a net-zero motion, and 27 dioceses in England are now registered as an Eco Diocese with the A Rocha Eco Church scheme.
Sheffield is already registered as an ‘Eco Diocese’, aiming for a Bronze award. Requirements include 21 churches (10%) to register with the scheme: currently we have 16 registered. Ten churches (5%) and the central administrative office Church House will need an Eco Church award: currently we have six awards. Awards are given using a free online survey to help the church to express care for God’s world in worship and teaching, looking after buildings and land, engaging with the local community and in global campaigns, and congregational lifestyles.
The Rt Revd Dr Pete Wilcox, Bishop of Sheffield said:
“The climate emergency has severe global implications for health and wellbeing. The Covid pandemic has exacerbated this, especially for those already vulnerable due to poverty and inequality. I am delighted that Cathy and the working group has brought this important motion to our Synod, and even more delighted that it has been backed so heavily by Synod members. We must now build the momentum as we work with church communities across our region to be an advocate and example for change. As Thomas tells us in the video – we all want to live in this beautiful world and be able to enjoy it as others have done before us. As we rebuild our society and God’s world after the pandemic, let’s build back greener. We owe it to the God who is both our Creator and our Redeemer, our Advent Hope and our Judge.”
Links to organisations which we support and work with:
A Rocha Eco Church: Has a large range of useful resources, links and information relating to the Eco Church scheme.
Operation Noah: A Christian charity working with the church to inspire action on the climate crisis.
Wild Christian: A Rocha UK's Wild Christian scheme is a community of families and individuals exploring the connections between our Christian faith, the natural environment, and how we live.
Toilet twinning: 2.3 Billion people don’t have somewhere safe to go to the toilet. By donating £60 to twin a toilet, we help fund a project in a poor community that will enable families to build a basic toilet, have access to clean water and learn about hygiene – a vital combination that saves lives. Due to the generosity of our community we have now twinned all the toilets at St John's church and Ranmoor parish centre as part of the Eco Church programme.
Church of England: Responding to climate change is an essential part of our responsibility to safeguard God's creation. The Church of England environmental campaign exists to enable the whole church to address — in faith, practice and mission — the issue of climate change. Includes a wide range of practical advice including on a sustainable lifestyle.
Sheffield Diocese webpage: Our local Diocesan web page covering environmental issues and events.
World Wildlife Fund carbon footprint tool: The planet is in crisis - from climate change to the pollution in our oceans and devastation of our forests. It's up to us all to fix it. This environmental footprint calculator helps us take the first steps.
Climate Stewards: A Christian charity which encourages us to calculate our carbon footprint, reduce it if we can and offset the rest. They support community forestry, water filter, solar and cookstove projects in the developing world to compensate for every tonne of CO2 we emit.
Hope for the Future: A Climate charity which was founded as a Christian organisation and works to equip all communities, groups and individuals across the country to communicate the urgency of climate change with their local politicians.
Sheffield Climate Alliance: SCA facilitates growth in the climate change movement, and provides a platform for organisations in South Yorkshire to collaborate on campaigns. SCA acts as a ‘hub’ for climate action, supporting citizens, community and campaign groups including faith groups to achieve high impact, effective action.
The RSPB has great resources online including six activities to help us plan to give nature a home where we live, and the big garden birdwatch. The St John's community is encouraged to take part in the birdwatch booked for 29-31 January 2021, and we are linked with the local RSPB team in a tree planting scheme. Watch out for more news on this!
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Together with their supporters and volunteers YWT are committed to creating a Yorkshire rich in wildlife for everyone. From saving our wildlife and wild places to bringing people closer to nature, they have a vision of a wilder future. We will be using their resources to help write the land management plan for the green spaces at St John's.
They are also the sponsors of the Yorkshire Living Churchyard Project.
Good Taste: the Sheffield Fair Trade shop in Broomhill which we have supported by regular sales at our Sunday morning services
Regather cooperative believes 'everyone should be able to afford decent food that supports local producers and doesn’t mess up the environment'. The Regather fruit & veg box scheme delivers the best local, seasonal, organic produce direct to homes across Sheffield and surrounding areas. They have a wide variety of aims and activities including support for social enterprise start up and development, and promoting low carbon and home energy efficiency measures.
ShefFood is the food partnership for Sheffield and is working towards a Sustainable Food Cities Award for Sheffield by taking action across six key areas including promoting healthy and sustainable food to the public, reducing waste and the ecological footprint of the food system, and tackling food poverty, diet-related ill health and access to affordable healthy food.