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Church Environment Policy

Web Links

Denominational Sites

Assemblies of God
Baptist Union of Great Britain
Church of England
Lichfield Diocese
Methodist Church
Roman Catholic Church
United Reformed Church

Walsall Churches

Local Government and Paliamentary Sites

Walsall MBC
West Midlands Local Government Association
Find out about your MP — just enter your postcode

Asylum Seekers and Refugees

Refugee Council
Medical Foundation for the Care of the Victims of Torture

Christian Organisations involved in social action

Christian Aid
WM regional Churches Forum
Ablewell Advice
Walsall Money Advice Project
Flying for Life (Mission Aviation Fellowship)

Disability Issues

The Department for Employment and Education
Through The Roof


Charities Aid Foundation
National Association of Councils for Voluntary Services
Lloyds TSB Foundations
The Church and Community Fund — supporting the Church of England’s mission in the whole community.
Church Urban Fund
Listed places of worship
Funding Central
(information on funding from trusts and government grants)

Ecumenism — Different denominations working together

Churches Together in Britain and Ireland
Churches Together in England
Interfaith Network>

General Interest

The Bible on line in numerous versions
Christian Book Promotions Trust
Indices of Multiple Deprivation
Wesley Owen
HM Revenue and Customs


You may be paying more VAT then you need to!

If your Church has charitable status (and most do either in their own right or as part of their denomination) you may be able to make a saving on some of the VAT that you pay.

What you’ll need in order to claim the VAT relief

To get VAT relief you’ll have to provide your supplier with evidence that you are a charity (or where appropriate another eligible body such as a Church) and a written declaration or ‘certificate’ confirming this.

Evidence of charitable status

If your Church is registered with the Charity Commission it is entitled to charity VAT relief. If your Church is not registered with the Charity Commission, for example if you’re exempt from registration with the Charity Commission, then you must be formally recognised as a charity by HMRC for tax purposes. In order to claim VAT relief, therefore, you must be able to provide your supplier with either:

  • your Charity Commission registered charity number
  • evidence that you’ve been formally recognised by HMRC for tax purposes

You will not be able to make a saving on VAT in every area, although it is always worth asking a Supplier if they have a Charitable rate.

For further reading, look at VAT guidance for charities and not-for-profit Organisations.

Below are listed the areas that we are aware of, where you may be able to make savings.

  • Advertising and goods associated with donations
  • Equipment for producing talking books and newspapers
  • Building Work
    • Construction of buildings
    • Maintenance of Listed Buildings
    • Installation of energy-saving materials in buildings
  • Fuel and power

Church Environment Policy

Note: This template environmental policy is intended as a starting point, to help you design a document that is appropriate for the particular context of your church.

We encourage you to amend and add to it as appropriate.  If you have access to the Internet you will find other similar policies to look at.

Bear in mind the type of Church building that you have.  If your Church is listed, you may need to include extra information that will not apply to other Church buildings.


The policy needs to be owned by the whole church community. We would encourage you to discuss the possible content of the policy as widely as possible within the church before agreeing the final wording.


(_________________)Church : Environmental Policy.


(___________) Church affirms that Christian mission includes caring for God’s Earth. We believe it is each of our responsibility to be stewards of Creation. As such we believe that we have a responsibility to care for the environment, for today and for future generations.


We, as a congregation, are challenged and encouraged to care for the earth by following sustainable practice and taking into account global and local environmental considerations.


Environmental Policy Objectives

Awareness and Commitment.

·Ensure that our Church and Church Centre activities comply with all relevant environmental regulations.

Energy and Water

· ensure energy is used efficiently and wherever possible reduce its use.

· encourage the increased use of renewable energy.

· use water efficiently and with care.

· avoid pollutants entering the drainage system.


· reduce the production of material waste including unnecessary packaging.

· encourage re-use, repair and recycling of materials including organic waste.

· dispose of waste in a safe and responsible way.

Materials and Resources

· buy products which are made in a sustainable way and to use locally-made goods where practicable.

· take into account the lifetime costs of materials when repairing, altering or rebuilding premises.

· maximise the proportion of paper used from sustainable sources and recycled materials.

· offer electronic communication as an alternative to paper for those who are suitably equipped.

· show concern for the environmental quality of food production systems and the equitable global distribution of food.

Natural and Built Environment

· take appropriate opportunities to conserve and enhance the natural and built environment around our church.

· be aware of local planning developments.

· be sensitive to the impact of church activities on the local environment.


· make every effort to reduce air pollution and energy consumption resulting from the use of the car by avoidance of unnecessary travel and the use of energy efficient vehicles.

· explore undertaking the work of the Church in ways which reduce the need for travel particularly by car and allow for the possibility of and encourage access by public transport, cycle and on foot.

· share car transport where possible.

· support the expansion of good quality public transport, the provision of improved facilities for cyclists and pedestrians and local Green Travel Programmes.


As a Church we will encourage all Users of our buildings to consider and put into practice where practically possible, the following:

· work to develop more sustainable lifestyles.

· take an active role in our town’s initiatives aimed at sustaining and renewing our local environment.

· conserve and use our church’s resources wisely.

· use the skills, creativity and enthusiasms of our own congregation in finding ways to reduce our environmental impact.

· look to achieve, and value, small changes, as well as the large.



Signed and dated.  ________________________

Churches and Disability

Are we accessible, could we be more accessible, why should we be?

In many regards the Disability Discrimination Act put into law what we as Christians believe about disabled people, namely that they should be respected and treated as well as anybody else. This sounds simple but it is all too easy to fall into the trap of assuming that all we need to do is provide a ramp, toilets with disabled access and perhaps a hearing loop system. These are the things that most able bodied people notice and treasurers shudder at the thought of — but what about the disabled people themselves, what do they notice?

Perhaps the first question to ask is who are the disabled people? Disability can be obvious – it is easy to spot a wheel chair user or someone who is blind. On the other hand how would you know if someone has dyslexia? From a church’s point of view a person with a disability is anyone who would find it unusually difficult to join in activities or use facilities that are available to anyone else.

The real experts in this field are the people who have a disability, a first step is always to talk to them and gain their views. Be aware however, that significant numbers of disabled people may not be part of your worshipping community or use your premises simply because of the difficulties they face, or the fact that your building appears to them to be unwelcoming. The people you most need to hear from, therefore, may never get to your Church!

You therefore need to look wider and use your imagination. There are various resources available that will help with an audit of your facilities and activities.

A useful website to look at is Through the Roof specifically gives advice to enable ‘all Disabled People to Be Free To Reach Their God-Given Potential”. Their website can offer help and advice in a number of various areas and one of the Resources available is called “Removing Barriers”.

The Removing Barriers Resource is in the form of a questionnaire organised around four types of barrier that can restrict the full involvement of disabled people – Attitudes, Organisation, Information and Physical Access — and helps guide churches through a step-by-step checklist. In using the Resource Churches are also directed to other appropriate information and resources which will help them to address any areas which need some input.

No one expects Churches to make any changes needed overnight, however, it is important to make a start or to continue on the journey.

The Removing Barriers Resource can enable you to:

*Help your Church or Organisation to assess your current situation.
*Help you identify what ‘reasonable adjustments’ could be made to improve the situation.
*Provide information and signpost you to appropriate resources to help you make these improvements.
*Enable your Church or Organisation to welcome and include disabled people more fully.