Environment Policy

All things came into being through him’ (John 1:3)

Introduction

In Easter term 2019 the students, partners and staff of Westcott House participated in a half-day discussion on creation and our environment. This policy was drafted by a working group containing representatives from all parts of the House and finalised in Michaelmas term 2019 after consultation with the entire community.

The policy:

  • summarises Westcott House’s commitment to the Fifth Mark of Mission: ‘To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth.’
  • identifies key areas of environmental responsibility within the House
  • provides a basis for ongoing reflection and action

Worship

In worship human beings join with the heavens, angels, the earth and all its creatures in praising God for the splendour of creation.

Worship at Westcott House will:

  • give thanks for the goodness and beauty of creation, including the fearful and wonderful making of ourselves (Psalm 139)
  • confess and repent of our sinful desire to own and exploit all that God has created

We will seek to make our liturgy aesthetically pleasant and materially sustainable.

Community

Human beings are called to live in community with one another and with all creation.

Our common life at Westcott will:

  • promote the welfare of all members of the House — students, partners, children, tutorial and support staff, visitors
  • celebrate diversity

We will seek to live simply and sustainably, so that we may grow in love for God, one another and the world.

We will eat together regularly.

We will commit to intentional practices that promote environmental and social justice in all areas of the House, including:

  • the common room and bar
  • the kitchens and refectory
  • the gardens
  • family and children’s activities
  • general administration
  • finance
  • waste disposal and recycling
  • use of energy and water

Creativity

This world is the product of God’s creativity, and is pronounced ‘good’ and delightful for its creatures (Genesis 1).

We believe that human beings:

  • are made in the image of God
  • reflect the creativity of the divine — in their activities of work and play — by producing and enjoying goodness and beauty

In our work, study and leisure, we will:

  • seek knowledge of God and love of neighbour
  • seek to learn about and from the world (including one another)
  • resist actions that degrade God’s creatures
  • commit to bring life to the world

Formation

The vocation of God’s people is to embody the new creation by being formed into the likeness of Christ.

We will strive as individuals:

  • to perfect in ourselves God’s love for God’s ‘own’ creation (John 1)
  • to develop a sensitive environmental conscience through prayer and action

We will commit to specific intentional practices that increase our understanding of, unity with, and love for the world.

We will seek to live as examples to others in the House.

We will provide learning opportunities for ordinands on environmental science and theologies of creation in order to equip them for mission in their future ministries.

When our time at Westcott ends, we will take a lead in environmental mission in the communities that we join.