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 firstname.lastname@example.org (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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The Parish Church of Coldingham and St Abbs have registered this week. Join us in welcoming them!
This just came in from Volunteering Matters Scotland and will be of interest to eco-congregations:
Our grants empower people in Scotland to take action and improve their local environment through volunteering activities. If you are part of a group who are creating or improving community gardens or wildflower areas, ponds, woodlands or local green areas, then we want to hear from you.
We can support you with easy-to access grants of between £50 to £500.
In 2016, over 8,100 volunteers participated in 173 Volunteering Matters Action Earth projects across Scotland, planting 13,360 trees, creating 557 new wildlife homes and working on land measuring almost 2 million squared metres.
This year we are especially keen to hear from volunteer groups who do any of the following:
- Work in areas of multiple deprivation
- Improve the health and social wellbeing of their local community
- Encourage and involve people under 26
Local Nature Reserve (LNR) grants of up to £500 are also available for volunteer activities taking place on LNR sites such as wildlife recording or protecting and enhancing biodiversity.
Volunteering Matters Action Earth is supported by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH)
To discuss any project ideas contact Robert Henderson on 0131 622 7766
In the last 12 months we’ve seen the ratification of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, Scotland meet it’s green-house gases reduction targets and Holyrood debate an ambitious new climate change strategy.
But looking ahead we face the environmental, political, and economic uncertainty of a post-Brexit Union, an aggressively pro-fossil-fuel administration in The White House, and a nation in which 1 in 10 Scottish species is at risk of extinction.
So how do we continue Caring for Creation in Times of Change? What does that mean?
Find out more about the event, including how book here
This tool from Climate Central lets you see how coastal areas will look if global temperatures increase by 2°C or 4°C.
The image above is Lower Largo in Fife. Areas that would be flooded by high tides are shown, with safe areas blocked out in grey. At 2°C this prediction shows flooding at the west end of the main street. At 4°C most of the main street is at risk.
Look up an area near you here:
As springtime approaches, the changing weather heralds WWF’s Earth Hour, this year taking place on Saturday 25 March at 8.30pm. Traditionally, eco-congregations have been a deeply involved in Earth Hour, with over 100 different churches taking part in previous years.
Now in its tenth year, Earth Hour continues to shine a light on the need for climate action. The last three years have been the hottest on record, and people and nature around the world are already feeling the impacts of a changing climate.
By signing up, congregations join thousands of people across Scotland and millions around the world to celebrate this brilliant planet and remind us of our collective power to make change. Churches will join together at 8.30pm on Saturday 25 March to share prayers by candlelight and reflect on and rejoice in God’s creation.
From hosting a candlelit choral concert to having a climate change themed service, Earth Hour is an opportunity for congregations to explore environmental concerns and how our faith calls us to address them. And did you know that your church’s Earth Hour activities can count toward your application for an Eco-Congregation Award? There are a variety of ways to engage with Earth Hour, big and small, all of which strengthen an application. It offers a global moment of solidarity from which to explore faith in action, as well as a simple starting point from which to build your Eco-Congregation Award application.
Gordon Hudson, manager of Eco-Congregation Scotland agrees:
‘As a global campaign, Earth Hour neatly intersects with our 3 award criteria of spiritual, practical and global living. As well as being a good thing to do, taking part in Earth Hour counts towards the requirements of the Eco-Congregation Award. I would strongly encourage all eco-congregations to download the toolkit and participate in Earth Hour 2017’.