Cherished Earth is a climate justice initiative of the Anglican Diocese of Auckland. This is about connecting faith with caring for creation and is the practical outworking of a commitment by the Anglican Bishops of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, to take action on climate change.
The initiative has its origins in 2007 when a group of lay Anglican members formed the Diocesan Climate Change Action Group. The goal is to help the Diocese’s churches and members move towards a more sustainable and carbon-neutral lifestyle.
Since 2007, the Action Group have conducted workshops around the Diocese and achieved the major goal of divesting the Church’s investments from fossil fuel industries.
In 2012, a part-time Sustainability Field Worker was appointed to implement a sustainability programme among the churches of the Diocese. Yvonne Thompson provided a service that, through on-site building assessments and energy audits, assisted a number of parishes to improve the energy efficiency of buildings and so reduce costs as well as carbon emissions.
The appointment of a new Sustainability Field Worker (see the adjacent box) in 2016 sees this work continuing alongside some new sustainability and carbon emission mitigation initiatives.
The first of these initiatives is around sustainability in our food supply. A programme establishing communal gardens or food forests in participating parishes will commence in early spring. This will be complimented by waste minimisation actions (various composting methods) that any household can do.
A climate change mitigation initiative being developed is an on-line carbon footprint calculator designed to assist parishioners assess their personal contribution to global warming and compare that against national benchmarks.
Many more initiatives are in the gestation stage, along with an innovative means of funding them, that all go to give a practical expression of our faith in the context of caring for creation.
Please check out our progress and let us know your thoughts at our blog site www.cherished-earth.org.nz or contact me direct using the contact form below.