Eco-Congregation Scotland is taking a baton to Paris, to express the demands of churches in Scotland that negotiators agree to a deal that promotes global climate justice. The baton, which will pass around churches in Scotland throughout the summer of 2015, will carry the hopes and aspirations of Christians across Scotland for climate justice to be central to any agreement reached at the conference.
What is happening ?
- Greyfriars Recycling of Wood have made a baton for Eco-congregation Scotland from recycled church furniture.
- The baton bears the message Time for Climate Justice: Churches in Scotland Demand a Deal in Paris, December 2015.
- The relay was launched by Aileen McLeod MSP, Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform at our Annual Gathering on 25th of April:
- In December 2015 the baton will be taken to the UN climate change conference in Paris to share our message with other churches and delegates.
See where the baton is going
You can have a look at this map and calendar of where the baton is going to get an idea of when it will be in your area. There are two batons in order to cover as much as Scotland as possible (which is why it will appear that it is in two places at once on many dates!). Green markers indicate where the baton has travelled so far; red markers indicate where it will be going.
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If you are a local church congregation you can book the baton to visit your church when it is passing through your area. As the route is dependent on who signs up please contact us as soon as possible to get your name on the list. Please send an email to email@example.com (or use our contact form here) stating the name of your congregation, its location, plus your name and phone number. We will get in touch to arrange a date.
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We ask that all congregations receiving the baton do the following:
- Fill out one of the postcards and post it to us so we can collect them together and give to the Climate Change minister to show where the baton has been.
- Contact the local press (newspaper or maybe local radio).
- Put an article in your own church magazine.
- Contact other local congregations (of all denominations) and ask them to take part.
When you receive the baton there will be a pack containing printed information. If any of this is missing you can download a copy here:
- Information sheet for congregations explaining what the baton relay is all about.
- Leaflets to give to the general public or congregation members.
- Postcards (front | back) to send to the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Minister to tell her where the baton is .
- Advice for contacting the local media.
- Press release (Word format | PDF).
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If you see the baton, tell us where it is, hashtag: #cop21baton
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Our assessors commended them for their excellent communications and the many opportunities for ‘eco’ themed discussions within their Forum, Fellowship hour, Bible study and House groups.
The assessors were also impressed by:
- The Day 4 Girls project, which has involved congregation members as well as others outside the church
- The ways in which members can bring concerns/issues which are then discussed and debated
through various forums, leading to specific actions and initiatives; e.g. discussions in the local
community about the issue of air pollution are to be commended.
- The Quiet Garden, which is an inspiring use of church grounds in response to the needs of the
- The research and ways in which ideas are developed, for example in the development of the
heating system and in the introduction of the Changeworks recycling boxes.
Congratulations to the Eco Group at Inverkip Parish Church who have followed up achieving their first Eco-Congregation Award and being highly commended in the Church Times Green Awards with a Scottish Green Apple Award.
The congregation competed against more than 500 other nominations and will attend an award ceremony in Glasgow in March 2018 to hear if they have won gold, silver or bronze. The Green Apple Awards began in 1994 and have become established as the major recognition for environmental endeavour among companies, councils, and communities. The awards are organised by The Green Organisation and are supported by the Environment Agency, the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) and other independent bodies.
Convenor of the church Eco group, Hilary Cameron, said
‘I am delighted our work has been recognised in this way. We are a small, but committed and hardworking group and I want to thank everyone for their efforts. We have received fantastic support from groups like the Sunday School, Youth Club and Property Group as we continue to highlight the importance of caring for God’s Creation and encouraging others to make changes to their habits and lifestyle’.
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Over 150 people came to Community Church Edinburgh last night to hear Katharine Hayhoe and Alistair McIntosh addressing the issue of climate change, finding hope and discussing why some Christians may find it hard to engage.
It was a challenging evening, well chaired by John Sturrock QC.
Two things Katharine suggested that you can do about climate change:
- Talk to your friends about it.
- Calculate your own carbon footprint so you can work on ways of reducing it.
The event was co-ordinated by copywriter and author Liz MacWhirter and sponsored by TearFund, Eco-Congregation Scotland and Core Solutions. Thanks also to the Eco-Congregation Scotland Edinburgh Network, Joanne Baker, Inke Milligan and Pete Entwistle.
You can listen to a recording of the event here:
You might also like to watch some of Katharine’s educational videos on climate change here.
Here is an example:
From the Church of Scotland web site:
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been told that climate change is putting entire populations of Pacific Ocean island nations at serious risk.
Delegates from the World Council of Churches said rising sea levels, increasingly severe drought and storms had questioned the very survival of people in the British Commonwealth of Tuvalu.
Ms Sturgeon attended a meeting, facilitated by the Church of Scotland, at the UN’s Climate Conference in the German city of Bonn this morning.
She heard stories of hope and pain from people who fear their countrymen and women are more vulnerable to migration and displacement due to the impact of climate change.
Ms Sturgeon met with Frances Namoumou from the Pacific Conference of Churches in Fiji and Rev Tafue Lusama, General Secretary of the Congregational Church in Tuvalu.
Read the full story here.