Action for Hope: New implementation officer to help the Church reach net zero

06 April 2023

hamish-leeseDr Hamish Leese rejoins the Connexional Team as the new Action for Hope Implementation Officer. His job is to help the Methodist Church of Britain reduce its carbon emissions, aiming for net zero by 2030. This role was made possible by funding from The Benefact Trust.

Hamish was previously part of the Connexional team working in research before coming back in January 2023. In his own words, “it’s wonderful to be back working in the Methodist Church, and in such an important area as creation care.

The climate emergency is one of the most pressing concerns in the world today, but it is not merely a secular one. As Christians and Methodists we are called to care for God’s Creation and challenge injustice, so climate concerns are inherently missional and part of our discipleship.

Net zero by 2030 is a challenging target and it will take all of us to achieve it.” Hamish’s recruitment is a milestone in the net zero carbon emissions journey started by the Methodist Church.

Reducing carbon emissions has been a long-term desire of the Methodist Church, referenced in the 2011 report Hope in God’s Future and regularly raised by children and young people at 3Generate. Caring for creation is a core part of a Methodist Way of Life; we want all of God’s created Kingdom not just to survive, but to flourish.

Closing our ears to the voices of those most vulnerable to climate change would be nothing less than giving up our claim to be disciples of Christ. Acting with renewed urgency, the 2019 Conference acknowledged the climate emergency and created an aim for net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

The Methodist Church has already started: its investment policies were changed; the new Methodist Church House in London at Tavistock Place is currently under refurbishment and will abide by the net zero emission aim; the Methodist Church is also creating resources to support churches starting their journey into becoming carbon neutral. As of September 2022, no less than 643 Methodist churches had registered for EcoChurch (England and Wales).

After creating a connexional action plan, Hamish will help Methodist districts develop their own action plans and support churches in their path to net zero emissions. The Methodist Church is hoping to have 50% of its churches to have registered with EcoChurch or EcoCongregation (Scotland), and 50% of these churches to have achieved a Bronze award by 2026.

Amongst Hamish’s other responsibilities are ensuring that the new Methodist Church House in London is as good for the environment as can be and that travel, gas and electricity funded by the Methodist Church are also net zero emissions by 2030.


For more information:

Read the Hope in God's Future Conference Report

The theology of climate justice

Young Methodist engagement for climate justice: God's World, Our Home