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.
The Cherished Earth Papa-tū-ā-nuku – he taonga, he tapu climate justice initiative is funded by the Anglican Diocese of Auckland. This work began under the sustainability initiative of the Diocese in 2012.
The Diocese of Auckland gratefully acknowledges the support and grant from The Tindall Foundation towards the sustainability initiative from 2013 through to 2015.
Find out more about the environmental work supported by The Tindall Foundation on their website.
The Diocese works in collaboration with The Auckland Council Eco Design Advisor service on the sustainability assessment of clergy homes. The New Zealand Green Building Council Homestar online assessment tool is being used by the Sustainability Field Worker to measure each home’s performance against recognised sustainability standards.
The DCCAG have met regularly since 2007 to promote climate justice. Over that time they have conducted many workshops within the Diocese inspiring others to connect their faith with caring for creation and taking action on climate change. You can read and download past presentations by going to the Education section.
“Thankyou to all our supporters – if you have attended a workshop, invited us to your church, sent us information, taken action on things we have shared, voted in favour of divesting, communicated your thanks or are on our email list then you are part of our team!”
In 2013 the DCCAG, along with clergy and other members of the Diocese successfully campaigned for the Anglican province of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia to divest from fossil fuels making them the first province in the Anglican Communion
to vote to divest. The launching of the Cherished Earth website in 2014 is the latest development in this on-going mission which has at its heart the Anglican Communion marks of mission to, “strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth, to respond to human need by loving service and to work to transform unjust structures of society. [more…
[Statement of purpose and other policy statements of the DCCAG]
In 2012 The DCCAG sought Diocesan Synod and Council for the appointment of a part-time Sustainability Field Worker, charged with implementing a sustainability programme among the churches of the Diocese.
Yvonne Thompson is the Sustainability Field Worker for the Anglican Diocese of Auckland. Along with her faith based convictions and background in architecture, she is an accredited practitioner with the New Zealand Green Building Council.
For more details see the Contacts section of this website.
You can find stories from parishes and ministry units in which the Sustainability Field Worker has worked by going to the Sustainability Newsbites section of the website.
Cherished Earth Papa-tū-ā-nuku – he taonga, he tapu
Our beautiful logo was designed by Sarah Newton and, along with the Cherished Earth title, is based on the idea that the earth is the Lord’s and that we are to care for it. Each element has relevance to the ideas of cherishing the earth and climate change, arranged around the concepts of balance and change.
The oval shape of the Pounamu / greenstone comes from the shape of the earth used on some world map projections. The oval is filled with Pounamu because the earth is a gift to be treasured and because Pounamu is a uniquely Aotearoa New Zealand precious stone. In Māori, “he taonga” speaks of something as being, precious.
The cross shape laid over the oval is there because the earth is the Lord’s, and because we are joining in God’s work of restoring and caring for his creation. The cross is ‘filled’ with gold leaf to reinforce the idea of treasure, gift and value. This also speaks of “he tapu”, sacred.
The Pohutukawa blossoms were chosen because Auckland residents look to the Pohutukawa blossoms to mark the change of season (in this case the coming of Summer), and talk about the timing of the blossoms as an indicator of what the season will be like. The rectangle of Pohutukawa has however shifted outside the bounds of the oval, which could be read as an indicator of change and things being or becoming unbalanced.