A motion to promote environmental programmes that was submitted to General Synod jointly by the Diocese of Truro and the Diocese of London has been adjourned until February.

The joint motion was deferred in order to allow for research to be done to help synod members reach a decision.

The Truro element of the motion seeks to ensure that each diocese has a clear environment programme championed by a member of the senior staff.

Cornish examples highlight potential

Diocesan Social Responsibility Officer, Revd Andrew Yates, said: “We used our own work in Cornwall to highlight the potential for other dioceses to follow, including challenging individuals to engage through signing up to the Ten Pledges, and promoting a variety of actions for churches using the Green Church Kernow Awards.

“Vital to this has been the work of the Diocesan Environment Officer, speaking in churches from Torpoint to Penzance and meeting congregation members, as well as arranging an inspiring training day on Care of Creation in Mission.

“The debate that followed brought up examples from around the country of how Care of Creation can be mission, such as Living Churchyard projects.”

The London motion is about measuring our carbon emissions, in order to enable the Church to meet its commitments to shrink its own carbon footprint. Without that, the argument goes, the church lacks authority to challenge other organisations to make changes towards a low carbon economy.


“However, there were questions,” said Andrew, “such as an uncertainty over the costs of such a national system – both the model and staff time it might need – that would fall on Archbishops’ Council finances. Also, is developing a national scheme the best use of limited resources when there are already different local schemes operating in some areas?”

The debate was adjourned until February 2019 so a full assessment can be made of the lily costs of the proposals, although in the debate in the Archsbishops’ Council’s budget the following day, the chair John Spence mentioned the possibility of looking for further funds to support the church’s environmental agenda.

“Would not have happened”

Andrew said: “So there was some disappointment that the motion was not carried, but it does mean there will be another opportunity to talk about the issue in front of the full synod next year – and the possibility of additional funds from the central church which would not have happened without the Truro and London motions.”