Diocese of Chichester

The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it
Psalm 24:1

A message Diocesan Environment Officer: The Revd Buff Stone


The environment is God’s gift to everyone, and all life exists in an intimate, mutually supporting relationship sustained by and reflective of God’s love.

We have a responsibility towards each other and to the whole global community of living creatures, to care for and protect the environment on which all life and wellbeing depends. We cannot think of ourselves as isolated from others or from creation.

The action of human beings is placing the whole community in peril. Our impact on the planet is reducing biodiversity, changing the climate, and polluting the earth. Around the world, climate change is affecting food security, creating social vulnerability, and disrupting peace and security.

In response to this peril, we are striving to follow Jesus’s law of love by reducing our contribution to the environmental damage which harms our neighbours and ourselves, and by more proactively caring for God’s creation.

The 5th Mark of Mission:
To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain
and renew the life of the earth

We have committed to becoming an Eco Diocese, working to understand and then reduce or eliminate the harmful environmental footprint of our buildings, land and activities. We are supporting and encouraging our parish churches to do the same, becoming Eco Churches who work with their local communities to grow in joyful appreciation of God’s gifts to us in creation and in practical commitment to ecological responsibility and justice.

These pages include suggestions for actions which churches, communities and individuals can take, resources, policies and plans. We will also report on progress, reflect on lessons learned and celebrate achievements.

For more information and help contact the Diocesan Environment Officer: The Revd Buff Stone

Read inspiring stories here on pages 24 - 29 of the Summer edition of Faith in Sussex

EFT footer

Energy Footprint Tool (EFT)

Overall, the Energy Footprint Tool helps build a national picture of our baseline and progress towards becoming net zero carbon by 2030. It also allows you locally to know where you are starting from and how much progress you are making.

General Synod voted in February 2020 for the whole of the Church of England to achieve net zero carbon by 2030. The vote recognised that responding to the climate crisis is an essential part of our responsibility to safeguard God’s creation and achieve a just world.

On the Church of England's Routemap to Net Zero Carbon by 2030, the first milestone for churches in 2023 is to start using the Energy Footprint Tool if you haven’t already.

A letter from Bishop Will.

As a diocese we try to be constantly mindful of how much is already asked of you; but I hope that recent global climate events, such as the extreme heat, wildfires and floods in many countries last summer, and the recently reported warmest February on record in England and Wales, speak more eloquently than I ever could about the need for us to unite and play our part in being active stewards of God’s creation. Completing the Energy Footprint Tool (EFT) for your parish is an important, practical step you can take in doing that, and I hope we can build on the 56% response rate we achieved last year across the diocese.

The data you collect from the EFT will help you better understand your energy use (potentially enabling you to find ways of saving money energy costs), help inform future net zero action plans and could open opportunities for carbon-reducing grants for your parish.

What am I asking you do?

Every parish is asked to fill in the EFT. It doesn’t really matter who does it – the PCC Treasurer, Church Warden or member of the PCC - as long as one person is assigned the responsibility of gathering the data and submitting the entry. If you could ensure someone in your parish completes the EFT by 31 July I would be very grateful.

What is needed to complete the EFT

The person filling in the EFT will need your utility bills (electricity, gas, or oil, depending on what you use) for 2023. If you have solar panels, they will also need information on the electricity the panels have generated during 2023.

Your parish can start filling in your EFT by going to the new green box in the Parish Returns system, that can be found here: https://parishreturns.churchofengland.org/diocese-menu/verify-data

The following resources should help parishes complete the EFT:

  •  Steve Collins, Net Zero Programme Manager at the Dioceses of Guildford, Chichester and Portsmouth gives some quick fire answers to your EFT questions. A Quick-Fire Q&A video
  • A more in-depth explainer video which walks you through how to complete each section of the EFT, watch below or follow link: here

Thank you for helping with the EFT. Responding to the climate crisis that is impacting so visibly on our common home is an essential part of our responsibility to care for God’s creation and demonstrate God’s love to our global neighbours also made in God’s image.

If your parish needs more information or support completing the form, or logging on to the portal, please contact Sarah Rogers, the Diocesan Parish Advisor (Finance, Stewardship & Governance) sarah.rogers@chichester.anglican.org]