This policy seeks to identify principles to assist Crediton Methodist Church in translating into action its affirmation that mission includes 'caring for the earth' in the life of the Church at national and local level.
i. Spells out our commitment to act responsibly on matters of environmental concern
ii. Identifies ways in which this commitment can be translated into action
iii. Identifies the means by which progress can be measured
1. The Methodist Church affirms that Christian mission includes caring for God's earth and will endeavour to develop both the theology and practical implications of this on a continuing basis.
2. The Biblical creation stories give human beings privilege and responsibility in relation to the earth and every living creature. We are called to be partners with the rest of creation and co-partners in the ongoing creative and renewing activity of God. Such partnership goes wrong when human beings act as if the whole earth were simply for their present benefit. God's way, revealed in the Bible and particularly in the life, death and resurrection of Christ, is a generous sharing of the divine love to serve the needs of God's creation until it reaches its fulfilment.
3. Christian mission includes sharing in putting right the relationships within God's creation that have gone wrong, and growing towards the balance and good stewardship envisaged in the Biblical vision of the world as it is meant to be.
4. The Methodist people are challenged and encouraged to care for the earth by following sustainable practice and taking into account global and local environmental considerations for present and future generations
• in the conservation and use of resources in the Church and at home
• in helping to develop more sustainable lifestyles
• in active involvement in other community initiatives
• in concerns for action on global environmental issues
5. To help the Methodist people to fulfil this commitment, this policy identifies objectives relating to six aspects of the environment. The objectives are considered relevant to individual lifestyles, the ongoing life of the Church and to the construction, maintenance and use of church buildings.
Action in working towards achievement of the objectives should have regard to:
• the challenge of meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs
• the potential for harnessing the skills, expertise and enthusiasm of the Methodist people
• the opportunities for co-operation and joint initiatives with other Churches or environmental initiatives and of the potential to contribute Methodist insights, including those arising from the connexional structure and shared ministry
• the effectiveness of the overall mission of the Church and the overall demands upon Methodist budgets
• the valuable contribution of small steps by individuals as well as major initiatives
• to promote awareness within Methodist people of these principles and objectives and of the values underlying them
• to ensure that Methodist Church employees and office holders are familiar with and implement this environmental commitment and its objectives
• to ensure that Methodist Church activities comply with all relevant environmental regulations
• to ensure energy is used efficiently and wherever possible reduce its use
• to encourage the increased use of renewable energy
• to use water efficiently and with care
• to avoid pollutants entering the drainage system
• to reduce the production of material waste including unnecessary packaging
• to encourage re-use, repair and recycling of materials including organic waste
• to dispose of waste in a safe and responsible way
• to buy products which are made in accordance with the principle of using material in a sustainable way and to use locally-made goods where practicable
• to take into account the lifetime costs of materials when repairing, altering or rebuilding premises
• to maximise the proportion of paper used from sustainable sources and recycled materials
• to offer electronic communication as an alternative to paper for those who are suitably equipped
• to show concern for the environmental quality of food production systems and the equitable global distribution of food
• to take appropriate opportunities to conserve and enhance the natural and built environment including Methodist Heritage Sites
• to be aware of local planning developments
• to be sensitive to the impact of church activities on the local environment
• to make every effort to reduce air pollution and energy consumption resulting from the use of the car by avoidance of unnecessary travel and the use of energy efficient vehicles
• to explore undertaking the work of the Church in ways which reduce the need for travel particularly by car and allow for the possibility of and encourage access by public transport, cycle and on foot
• to share car transport where possible
• to support the expansion of good quality public transport, the provision of improved facilities for cyclists and pedestrians and local Green Travel Programmes.