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Keld Hansen

I have been a member of the Danish CEC group for many years and when environment came on the agenda I found this very inspiring. In 2007 I went to Sibiu for the EEA3 where there were ten recommendations for Europe, one of which was about praying for the environment and encouraging a sustainable lifestyle. And even before I had made a private study on what initiatives are going on in churhces around us. Work was happening in Germany, England, Sweden, Finland -- but nothing in Denmark! So I thought, something is missing. Sibiu gave me contact with people and I made connections with the staff and our national council.

I was very inspired by the very practical way that in Norway they get churches to put it on the agenda: they have around 50 points for churches to work through. So with some others we made a Danish list, and began a green church in Denmark! I did it with my own congregations: 'here, folks, here are 48 points, let's become the first green church in Denmark'. So we did it, between 2007 and 2008.

One of the staff in the Lutheran church gave us good support and we got a website, gronkirke.dk, from May 2008. We made a map with the three first congregations, and it is still open for more. Now it has been moved to the Ecumenical Council of Denmark and we have support from DanChurchAid. This is also about climate justice.

We still have work to do: today there are 67 green churches in Denmark and the number is growing. We are co-operating with the Energy Service of Denmark: a few years ago no-one thought you could make energy savings on the churches, but they have done a study and found there is lots of money to save, so this is of great interest to many churches.

So we have a bright future. I am doing this because I think it's crucial to my faith, and also because this is where I am, in the church, and I think this can have an impact on society. I think the church has the words for it: responsibility, respect, and caring, and love your neighbour.

You can find out more about the Danish Green Church project on their website, gronkirke.dk