Eco-Congregation Scotland is a Scottish registered charity (charity number: SC041287) organised as a company limited by guarantee (company number: SC372366) . The trustees of the charity are the directors of the company.
These are the biographies of the directors who have been elected at the AGM or co-opted between AGMs. The procedure for electing directors can be found in our Memorandum of Association.
Mark is a senior manager working in the financial services sector in Edinburgh. Outside work he is an active member of Saughtonhall United Reformed Church (URC) which is an award winning eco-congregation. Saughtonhall Church and was the second church in Scotland to install solar panels and is used as a reference site by Energy Savings Trust. Mark has experience in the third sector as a trustee and treasurer of the Scottish Congregational & United Reformed College, a theological institute based in Glasgow.
ELIZABETH SOUTH (Vice Chair)
I’m a member of St Martins, Dalry Road Edinburgh, an Episcopal church with a lively eco-congregation group formed in 2005, and strong links with the local community. I became interested in ecology and environmental issues in the late 70s, influenced by Schumacher and others. I worked for Oxfam Campaigns in the 1980s; then for a Scottish churches’ charity engaging with peace and justice issues, local and global, in the 1990s. Reflecting on the spirituality underpinning such action, I felt drawn to train as a spiritual director. Subsequently I helped to establish the Epiphany Group (a network of trained spiritual directors) in 2000. I was a trustee of Oxfam GB for 6 years, and a convenor of the former SEC Overseas Committee. I am a founding member of Spokes, the Lothians cycling campaign. I’m particularly interested in integrating spirituality with ecology/concern for the environment. I welcome the opportunity to serve the Eco-congregation movement in Scotland which seeks to put faith into environmental action.
MARY SWEETLAND (Chair)
Mary is an Elder and Eco-Convener for Alexandria Parish Church, located in The Lomond & Trossachs National Park at Balloch. Since taking early retirement as Deputy Director for NHS Scotland Information Services in 2009, she has served as a Trustee with several professional and voluntary organisations. She took personal action in caring for the environment – replacing an energy hungry fifties bungalow with a zero-energy Passive House in 2012.
ALAN KENNEDY (Treasurer)
I worked as an actuary in life insurance until 2010. Shortly afterwards I agreed to be the treasurer of ECS becoming a board member at the 2011 AGM. I am an elder and treasurer of Craigsbank Church of Scotland in Edinburgh which registered with ECS in 2004 and the treasurer of another parish in the Borders. I am also a General Trustee of the Church of Scotland and a director of the Church of Scotland Insurance Company.
I am a Church of Scotland Minister working in Kirriemuir. Ordained in 1993, I was a secondary school teacher in a previous life! I am married with three married sons and three lovely daughter’s in law as well as two wonderful grandchildren. My Congregation, the Glens and Kirriemuir Old Parish Church, is part of the West Angus Area Ministry and we work in close co-operation with four other Church of Scotland Charges in a Group Practice Ministry. I was Presbytery Clerk in Angus from 1997 to 2005 and have also served on the Ministries Council. When I look at my grandchildren I am more convinced than ever that Climate Change, Environmental Degradation and Sustainable Living are THE challenges facing humanity in general and the Faith Communities in particular. In the community, I am the Environmental Officer for the 80+ Rotary Clubs in the North of Scotland.
I am an Elder in the Church of Scotland. I was appointed as the first Convener of the Eco workgroup in my last church (Old & Abbey, Arbroath) during which time we achieved our first and second EcoCongregation Awards. I helped set up the Angus network and am an Eco Congregation assessor. I live in Doune, having moved here two years ago. I am retired from the retail industry but seem as busy as ever! Locally, I volunteer in an information and heritage centre, am involved in the woodland group (I can be seen on a regular basis doing my round of Doune Ponds with my black bag and litter picker!) and attend the village church which I can walk to. I am married to Valerie, a Church of Scotland minister, and we have a wonderful mutt, Monty, a Flat Coated Retriever. I am delighted to be in a position to serve as a Board member of EcoCongregation Scotland. We are living in a time when our environment is at a critical stage, which hugely concerns me. I want to be involved in a movement that can bring the issue of climate change to the forefront by engaging with churches, communities and governments. To me, this is an integral part of my faith. I hope and pray that our work will lead toward a sustainable future for our planet.
A retired chartered surveyor who advised government departments and public authorities in various parts of England on the acquisition, disposal and taxation of property. I have a postgraduate certificate in Politics and Theology and a Master’s Degree in Christian Spirituality (University of Wales, Lampeter). My dissertation focused on the Christian wilderness tradition to see if it could help us to develop a contemporary ecological spirituality. I am a Lay Reader in the Scottish Episcopal Church looking after a small rural church in Aberdeenshire that has just become an eco-congregation and I serve on the diocesan Mission & Ministry Board and the provincial Church in Society Committee with a special interest in green issues.
Frances Rayner has worked at SCIAF (The Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund) since 2007. She spent five years in public fundraising where she raised over £7.3 million for the charity before joining the advocacy team as Campaigns Officer in 2014. She is actively involved in the work of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, acting as chair for the coalition’s mobilisation group. At SCIAF she leads the organisation’s environmental behaviour change work and develops campaigns to help Catholics put their faith into action. She is passionate about Eco-Congregation Scotland work enabling Christian communities to green themselves, believing that most people are ready to change, they just need guidance and encouragement. Frances holds an MSc in Development and African Studies from the University of Edinburgh. She is particularly interested in green economics. Originally from England, Frances has lived in Glasgow since 2007.
John is retired having spent most of his career in the Motor Industry employed by three vehicle manufacturers and the RMI (the Industry Federation) acting as a consultant specialising in finance, and business development. He acted as an advisor to HMRC on the compilation of their economic notes on the Motor Industry. His time in the Industry, particularly with the Volkswagen Group, gave him an appreciation of the enormous impact manufacturers can have on the environment. He has served as a Commissioner on the Scottish Catholic Justice & Peace Commission for several years. One of the Commission’s core objectives is Climate Change underpinned by Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si. As a member of the Justice Peace Group at St. Joseph’s RC Church in Clarkston, he came to know Eco-Congregation through its award scheme. This, coupled with the belief that mankind has responsibility for stewardship of the planet, has driven him to actively promote the principles of ecology and sustainable living as an integral part of his faith. His aim is to extend these principles to a much wider range of congregations within the Catholic Church in Scotland.
As a Church of Scotland Minister in Dalbeattie, along with the elders of the congregation, we became the second eco-congregation in Scotland. From that time I have been involved with the Reformed Church in Hungary developing their work. I have visited Hajdunanas for their Creation time events on several occasions, and worked with the young people in their annual eco award competition. They made their way to Scotland as a prize for their excellent work on eco lifestyle, which we hosted in south west Scotland as part of our development. In retirement, I have preached in many of the Church of Scotland Congregations overseas, and have encouraged them to be eco congregations as part of their spiritual life. I hope that in the future we will be able to develop work with the reformed Church in Hungary, who are looking to us for increased partnership.