The Revd Peter Dillon has started work as the Diocese of York’s interim Project Officer for Carbon Net Zero, funded by the national Church of England, to help steer us towards the national 2030 Carbon Net Zero target agreed by General Synod.

Peter writes:

The need to care for God’s creation is clear and we are called to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and to sustain and renew the life of the Earth. To support this York Diocesan Synod (17th July 2023) adopted a resolution welcoming the General Synod’s Climate Emergency and Carbon Reduction target and called upon all parts of the Diocese of York to measure carbon emissions and urgently examine what would be required to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

To help us with this ambitious target and realise our commitment to Live Christ’s Story, we are working on a draft Carbon Zero Net plan for Diocesan Synod in early 2024 and I’ve been appointed as the interim project support to help develop this plan. I’ve previously worked as a project manager in the health and social care sector, and recently have been ordained as a Deacon in Blackburn Diocese – I live on the other side of the Pennines!

Over the next few months, we will bring together our data from the Church of England’s Energy Footprint Tool*, Energy Performance Certificates, building surveys, energy consumption and travel, that will enable us to have a strategic focus on the largest emitters and busiest buildings in the Diocese of York. We know that many of our most small, rural churches already have a small carbon footprint supported by good maintenance. We will continue to support churches to become “Eco Churches “and increase the uptake of the Energy Footprint Tool which are great ways for us to be ready to bid for the additional funding being allocated nationally by the Church of England.

We will share more information on Carbon Net Zero project and the broader work of the Diocesan Environment Committee including updates on the great projects taking place in many parishes to reduce and improve energy usage that help our churches to be places that are warm and welcoming and those that continue to increase biodiversity and enhance the local environment.

  • If you would like any further information or a conversation about your plans and priorities, please do contact me at peter.dillon@yorkdiocese.org.

* The Church of England’s Energy Footprint Tool allows all churches around the country to enter their utility bills and find out their 'carbon footprint'. You can find the Energy Footprint Tool on the Online Parish Returns System; it uses the information already held about your church to populate your answers. This means churches will only be asked for a small amount of additional information. The deadline for entries to be included in national statistics was the end of August 2023, but this year's Energy Footprint Tool will however remain open until the end of the year for churches to submit their details. This will then ensure dioceses can apply on their behalf for Net Zero Carbon Programme grants and schemes being launched this year.