SCIAF (the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund) is the official overseas development fund of the Scottish Bishops’ Conference of the Roman Catholic Church. In 2011 SCIAF and Eco-Congregation Scotland ran a pilot project to help more Roman Catholic parishes become Eco-Congregations.
The aim of the project was to enable Eco Congregation Scotland to work directly with a group of 3-5 parishes interested in becoming Eco-Congregations. This was to be achieved by identifying one (or two) areas where there are parishes that might be interested in exploring the idea of becoming involved in Eco-Congregation Scotland and include:
- Preparation and delivery of one or more events with the group of parishes, introduction to Eco-Congregation Scotland materials (which are free to use), and follow up work with specific parishes.
- Contact with the local Eco-Congregation network, so that whatever happened was ecumenical.
- A wider event based on a pilot as suggested above and aimed at a diocese could also be developed, if that seemed the best way of involving more congregations.
A second pilot group was also to be delivered as above in another part of the country with a similar time commitment. Or a wider event based on a pilot as suggested above and aimed at a diocese could be developed if that seemed the best way of involving more congregations.
It was planned to work with a range of parishes in the pilot: from both urban and rural areas, in different geographical areas and different socio-economic mixes. In all cases, the theme was to be around international development, the environment and the effect of our lifestyle choices on the lives of others who do not have those choices.
The results of the pilot project were very encouraging, with several Catholic parishes registyering as Eco-Congregations and one achieving their first award. The work is ongoing. For a full report on the project and its outcomes click here (PDF file).
SCIAF has an Eco-Congregation page on their web site which you can find here.