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Circular Economy

Volume 639: debated on Thursday 26 April 2018

2. To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what assessment the Church of England has made of the potential merits of the circular economy. (904964)

The Church has for many years been involved in the recycling, reuse and repurposing of materials. It completely embraces the circular economy. Most recently, the Church’s environment programme ran a “Lent Plastic Challenge”, which was supported by 40 MPs. It produced a calendar of things we could do on each of the 40 days of Lent, and it was helpful to all who took part to see how much we can do individually.

Last weekend I attended the launch of the Catholic diocese of Middlesbrough’s book about how we can live simpler lives. What is the Church of England doing to further its reach into communities to help people to change their behaviours and lifestyles?

As I have said, all of us as MPs had a golden opportunity during Lent to use the calendar produced by the Church of England, which was available to all Church members and was very popular throughout the Church community. Every day it set a challenge to each of us to do something to change the way we live our lives so that they are simpler and embrace the circular economy. Within the Church, a number of churches embrace the concept completely, with 860 participating as eco-churches in the Big Church Switch, for example, which is looking at ways to ensure that the energy we use comes from renewable sources. We promote the circular economy right across the Church of England.