News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

UK News

Churchgoers call for more sustainable farming and animal welfare on Church-owned land

by Premier Journalist
farm-972717_1920.jpg - Banner image

A clear majority of churchgoers believe that tenant farmers on land owned by the Church of England should adopt organic or regenerative practices and rear their livestock using ‘free range’ systems, according to a new study.

A survey of 605 regular churchgoers was undertaken as part of a study on food and farming for Green Christian led by Tim Cooper, Emeritus Professor of Sustainable Design and Consumption at Nottingham Trent University.

Preliminary findings were released ahead of a debate on Land and Nature at the Church of England’s General Synod this weekend.

Over 57% of respondents indicated that tenant farmers on church land should be either ‘required’ or ‘encouraged’ to adopt organic or regenerative practices and rear their livestock using ‘free range’ systems.

By comparison, 26% thought that they should have to follow a set of minimum standards such as the 'Red Tractor' scheme, while a mere 18% said they should have complete freedom to choose their preferred farming practices.

Respondents attending Church of England churches were slightly more inclined to favour stricter guidelines: only 13% thought that its tenant farmers should be free to choose their farming practices.

An amendment is due to be tabled to the Synod motion requesting the Church Commissioners to report back on their progress with engagement and collaboration with tenants about sustainable farming.

Commenting on the survey findings, Professor Cooper, a co-founder and trustee of Green Christian, said:

“Our survey provides clear evidence that churchgoers want the substantial agricultural assets owned by the Church of England to be farmed according to organic or regenerative practices and for its tenant farmers to rear their livestock on ‘free range’ principles.

While recent reports suggest some progress in promoting sustainable farming, this needs to be accelerated and accompanied by efforts to ensure that factory farming does not occur on church land. The Church should be leading by example, not following cultural trends.”

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email