First guidebook to help London's churches go green

 A guidebook: 'For Creed and Creation' was launched yesterday at London's City Hall, with information to help every church in the capital contribute to the fight against climate change. The guide, by Dr Gillian Straine and Nathan Oxley, provides advice on everything from basic ways of reducing heating bills, such as fitting insulation and installing energy efficient lighting, through to introducing car sharing schemes for church services, setting up recycling programmes and encouraging local children to learn about the environment and take an active role in protecting it. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor said: "I welcome the publication of 'For Creed and Creation' which provides advice on how churches across London can cut their use of energy. It is God's creation and we must all take care of it. This ecumenical venture, led by the London Churches, makes clear that as followers of Jesus we all have a part to play in increasing awareness of the damaging effects of climate change on creation and human life. In the coming months, I hope that parishes in the Diocese of Westminster will study this booklet and take forward its practical suggestions." The Anglican Bishop of London, Dr Richard Chartres, Chair of London's Church Leaders Group who met at City Hall with the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, to launch the guide, said: "Working together, London's churches have a pivotal role to play in tackling the stark reality of climate change. London's churches reach out to hundreds of thousands of people every week and, according to the last census, 58% of the capital's population is Christian. We should be making our presence felt on the crucial issue of the environment. "A whole host of scientific studies have made clear that it is no longer possible to find excuses for doing nothing. Equally, it is not enough to point the finger of blame at others and to demand that somebody else should do something. Now is the time for individual and collective action in adapting to climate change and the unsustainable way in which we are exploiting the earth's resources." Mayor of London Ken Livingstone said: "The Bishop of London and the London churches are showing that they are at the forefront of efforts to tackle climate change. This green guide is a valuable tool for churches and their congregations to use to reduce their energy use. As a major world city what happens here can be an example that others follow. The science about climate change is clear, we have to cut our carbon emissions to levels that avert catastrophic climate change." Environment Secretary, David Miliband MP, said: "For the sake of future generations we all need to take action now to reduce our consumption and move to a low carbon economy. Churches have a valuable role to play in leading the way, first by greening themselves and then by greening their communities. This booklet is an important step towards this and I praise the hard work and vision of all those involved." The guide will be distributed free to over 4000 churches in London. It has the backing of: the Church of England, The Roman Catholic Church, The Orthodox Church, The Evangelical Alliance, The Methodist Church, United Reformed Church, The Baptist Church, The Salvation Army, The New Testament Assembly, The Council of African & Afro-Caribbean Churches and London Churches Group for Social Action It is hoped that the guide will ultimately be adapted to encompass other religions and faiths and supported by a telephone advice line. Source: Archbishops House

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