The Diocese of Truro has reaffirmed its commitment to the environment with support for a plan of action for work over the next five years.

At a meeting of diocesan synod members, a Motion on the plan to deliver the diocesan strategy to Cherish Creation, Cut Carbon and Speak Up was overwhelmingly supported. A vote of members saw a return of 40 in favour, one against and one abstention.

Ben Lillie, Diocesan Environment Officer, said: “I am overjoyed by the Synod’s support of this strategic motion. It is in effect deep affirmation of these last two years of work, so much of which has been done by our incredible community of Creation Care Champions and their churches. This is recognition of something we refer to in the Creation Care Network as ‘the power of little steps’.

“The Harvard Professor and Political scientist Erica Chenoweth speaks of ‘The critical tipping point for changing everyone’s behaviour is a committed minority of 25 per cent’. That’s us! That’s what the Creation Care Network is doing! And we welcome you to join us in this essential missional work of the Gospel.”

Prior to voting members heard a presentation by Dr Annabelle South before Julia, a Creation Care Champion from St Paul’s Church in Ludgvan, spoke to give a local view to the work being done across the diocese.

Julia, who is one of three Creation Care Champions in her church, said: “Working to make our church more sustainable is hard work but the network really supports us. We are making little changes. Every little bit really does help. We can all make a difference if we try. We are getting more and more people interested. Things like making bird boxes, its easy and lots of people are interested. We speak up but its cutting carbon that’s the hardest because that means behaviour change.”

There was an international flavour to the session with a video from Rosario Lobo in Honduras. Rosario spoke of the effects her local community is seeing from climate change. Hurricanes, floods, droughts, water shortages, crop, and vegetation death and what she is doing to try and live more sustainably and less intrusively on her patch of the Earth.

In a question session after the presentations, Andrew Prince, lay member from Powder deanery, said: “Buildings – we seem to have very inefficient buildings which are impossible to insulate. We were looking at putting in ground source heating pumps. The conclusion was it just wasn’t going to work. So, the question is, should we really be in our buildings? They are a big problem.”

Responding, Ben said: “Air source, ground source aren’t going to work in all locations because you are going to need to insulate. Our response comes back to heat the person, not the space. Devoran Church have recently taken away their heating source and they have taken the heat the person view. They have invested in heated pew cushions which turn on when you sit and turn off when you stand up. There are heated gilets that can be used. The diocese has samples of cushions, hand warmers and gilets that churches can borrow and try.”

Speaking after the meeting, the Rt Revd Hugh Nelson, Bishop of St Germans, said: “I am proud of the way the church in Cornwall is committed to caring for the beautiful world we have been entrusted with. This detailed plan to cherish creation, cut carbon and speak up is the result of hard work, wide consultation, and huge creativity. I am delighted that Synod has approved it.”

If your church would like to trial the Heat the People resources, please contact Church House on 01872 274351.

You can find out more about the Action Plan here