The Circuit Meeting of the Winchester, Eastleigh and Romsey Circuit agreed on December 4, 2018 to declare its intention to become an Eco Circuit. This promotes the approach of the Eco Church survey in churches ( . This survey has five themes: Worship and Teaching, Buildings, Land, Community and Global and Lifestyle. Energy policy largely relates to Buildings, Lifestyle and Global and Community themes. We recognise that a zero carbon footprint can be that of a closed church and so propose to use a common measure, the carbon rate, which scales the estimated carbon emissions by the average weekly activity in the church, in addition to the overall emissions.
Carbon rate = Carbon emissions / (No. people x duration x frequency)
The framework for the Energy Policy of the Circuit is provided by this and the guidance within The Constitution, Practice and Discipline of the Methodist Church. The policy of the Circuit is to reduce carbon emissions by carrying out assessments of all churches and manses to develop action plans for each location, which include:
— improved measurement and control,
-improved efficiency of heating and lighting,
-reduced travel emissions per person,
-adoption of green energy suppliers and
The major consumption of energy is dominated by the heating and transport and so forms the priority of this policy. Heating in particular is to be considered not just financially, but also in terms of energy and carbon footprint. The policy driver is to reduce our environmental impact, initially through making all more aware of the energy and emission costs that are being incurred by the fuels we consume
The policy of locating Circuit meetings near its geographical centre to reduce travel distances will be maintained. The Circuit and Churches should consider ways to reduce the carbon emissions related to transport for church-related activities, promoting public transport where possible and easing organisation for car-sharing.