Reduce churches and save the planet

reduce churches

An eco-option for excess churches could be to repurpose them for ecological uses.

Small congregations could cluster together instead of being dispersed over a number of buildings, says Dr Kevin Hargaden of Dublin’s Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice.

“The buildings that don’t get used, I think can get repurposed. Again, that’s an opportunity for us to think about how do we make a church fit for the 21st Century mission,” Hargaden says.

In his view, there are a “whole bunch of logistical and operational reasons” that prove rationalising church buildings is a smart decision.

Furthermore, he says any unused land in parishes could be rewilded – a process of restoring land to its natural state –to reduce Ireland’s collective carbon footprint.

While pointing out that it’s imperative that individuals need to act to prevent ecological danger, Hargaden says only collective efforts can make any substantive difference to the environment’s wellbeing.

“The parish becomes the lynchpin, the cornerstone member of a broad coalition within the town that seeks so to develop policies on that collective level.

“And that makes sense because so much of this conversation directs us towards individual behavioural change and, while that’s important, that is utterly insignificant and insufficient – even the most severe eco-warrior is making no difference on their own,” he says.

Nonetheless, he stresses, the environmental work of even the most committed parish in isolation is “just a drop in the ocean” and suggests parishes join in with local initiatives.



Additional reading

News category: World.

Tags: ,