Stewards of the Earth

Part of our mission here at Durham Cathedral is to care for the planet we live on. As stewards of the earth, find out more about how caring we are caring for God's creation in the Church of England and at Durham Cathedral

At Durham Cathedral and in the Church of England, we believe that responding to the climate crisis is an essential part of our responsibility to safeguard God’s creation and achieve a just world. Climate change hits hardest the poorest countries and poorest people of the world. Meantime, the widespread destruction of the natural world is a crisis for creation

What is climate change?

The United Nations states that Climate Change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. The consequence of it has led to devastating results. Recently, wildfires spread in Australia, canals flooded in Venice and storms engulfed the UK. We continue to experience record breaking heat waves, earthquakes, tsunamis and droughts across the world

Reducing our Carbon Footprint

We are continually looking at the carbon foot print of Durham Cathedral in the long term. Our emerging carbon reduction plan will lead the way to Net Zero Carbon by 2030

In 2021, we reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 33% compared to 2020 – despite resuming operations post-COVID. A large part of the reduction was owed to the strict management of heating schedules and equipment by the Cathedral’s Maintenance Team. A culture change and better energy management were the first step to significantly reducing emissions.

Partnership working

We’ve worked with Durham University and the Durham Energy Institute on behalf of the Church of England to help decarbonise our heating and meet their aim of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions for our operations by 2030.

The research has been funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Watch the video to find out more about this project

Church of England Environment Programme

The Church of England Environment Programme exists to enable the whole Church to address this — in faith, practice and mission. This includes tackling our own carbon emissions (aiming for NetZero Carbon by 2030) and our wider work.

The Bishop of Norwich, Graham Usher, was invited by the Archbishop of Canterbury to lead the Church of England’s Environment Programme with a charge to lead bold, deliberate, collaborative action across the Church to tackle the grave existential crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. He took up the post in June 2021.

Responding to the climate and biodiversity crises that the planet faces is not a luxury in the ministry of the Church but an urgent imperative for our mission"

Graham Usher
The Bishop of Norwich