This is the latest news from the Esk and Tweed Eco-Congregation network.
Energy Saving Trust in South East Scotland
For advice on energy efficiency and reducing energy bills or to simply check if you are entitled to any government grants, please don’t hesitate to contact the Community Liaison Officer for your area, Dagmara Opilka. You can contact her on:
Direct line: 0131 468 8682 | Helpline: 0800 512 012.
Complete and send the Referral Form to check if you are eligible for financial support.
Dagmara has offered to arrange a meeting or a talk to discuss the available services from the Energy Saving Trust. For more information click on the leaflet link Home Energy Scotland.
For archived articles prior to June 2012 please click here.
The meeting was held in Penicuik North Kirk where delegates were warmly welcomed by David Tulloch (Eco Team leader) who then opened the proceedings with a prayer before introducing the guest speaker for the first half of the evening.
Evelyn Mitchell gave an overview of the work being done by the organisation ‘Changeworks’ to reduce WASTE.
In order to achieve this reduction Changeworks has become involved with schools, the community and businesses to:-
a) inspire action to reduce waste b) provide domestic advice c) provide staff training programmes d) set up community based waste reduction systems and e) provide education in schools.
One vital aim is to reduce material going to landfill sites which results in a waste of resources, a waste of energy, causes pollution, contributes to climate change and costs £72 per ton of waste deposited.
Everyone attending the meeting was aware in principle of the issues involved with waste but most were surprised by some of the facts and figures that Evelyn provided to drive home the message that urgent action needs to be taken. In the ‘fun quiz’ that she provided there was no one who gained 100% correct answers and she certainly made her point.
We were then told that in 2010 the Scottish Government had launched its ZERO WASTE plan with the aim of having, by 2025, reduced waste by 75%. The target for 2013 is for 50% of waste to be recycled or composted.
We were given some shocking facts relating to the ‘Reduce,Reuse,Recycle’ rule. Eg- In one year we throw out half a million tonnes of food and drink which is equivalent to £1 billion of wasted food while, in the world, one billion people suffer the effects of hunger and 1 in 5 people are not getting enough to eat.
So what can we do? We were given some simple suggestions such as:- a) plan well before going shopping b) store food safely c) be more aware of portioning and don’t cook more than is necessary d) and use ,or when possible freeze, leftovers instead of throwing them out.
When Evelyn completed her talk she left us with the message that we must each play our part on our own homes and, where possible, spread the information as widely as we can. It also made us realise the importance of the work of our churches in supporting causes dealing with hunger issues across the world.
Evelyn offered to organise talks or give information to any other interested groups. She can be contacted at www.changeworks.org.uk
David thanked Evelyn for her interesting and informative talk and during the break that followed we had the chance to talk together and to enjoy the excellent home baking that David’s team provided for us.
In the second half of the evening Margaret Warnock, Co-ordinator for Eco-Congregation Scotland, gave a short update on the movement.
It has been decided that there will be a Continuing Award on offer for churches which have already gained a first, second and third Award.
An Eco-Congregation Chaplain has been appointed with the funding support of the United Reform Church.
More information can be found on the website www.ecocongregationscotland .
David thanked Margaret and then gave a presentation describing the refurbishment of Penicuik North Kirk and the potential provided by this work.
This most ambitious plan, known as The Open Door Project, started in 2000 with a vision of what the Penicuik North Kirk family could do for the community. Refurbishment was necessary to allow the vision to become a reality and at a cost of £360,087 and 15p the work was completed on budget and in time . By 2008 the loan, which had been taken out, was repaid and David impressed all those present when he described how this had been achieved and the many projects that have since been undertaken.
Probably the most successful is the Open Door Café, situated just inside the front door of the church and manned by volunteers, which has become a place of fellowship for a great many people.
The most recent project has been the setting up of a food bank for needy families- Foodstore@PNK . Church members bring with them each Sunday the gift of one item and these are stored before distribution in cupboards that have been built on the church premises by a team under the leadership of Andrew Knox an Eco Team member.
David concluded his presentation by showing a 10 minute video showing church members at work and depicting the final result of the refurbishment.
We were left with the impression that the refurbishment created much hard work but also a great deal of fun and fellowship within the church family.
Nan Buchan thanked David for giving such an interesting presentation on the refurbishment and such am impressive description of the work of the church thereafter. She thanked Penicuik North for hosting this network meeting, for the warm welcome, the friendly atmosphere and home baking during the break and the inspiration of the vision of the North Kirk Family.
1. Two suggestions were put forward for consideration.
a). - to change the months for the network meetings from March and October to April and September to give more chance of .reasonable weather for travel
b). - to support a three year project, initiated by the Presbytery of Melrose and Peebles, to pay for the training, educational materials, food and clothes required by Jessie Backson who has been selected to train as a midwife in Malawi where there are a large number of deaths during child birth.
It was explained that very small donations will make a big difference to this project and so it was suggested that a donation plate be put out during the refreshment breaks at future network meetings to allow those wishing to do so to make a contribution to this cause.
2. Carlops has offered to host the meeting in September 2013.
3. Offers to host future meeting were invited and also suggestions for topics and speakers.
Rev. Ruth Halley closed the meeting with prayer.
The meeting has been rescheduled for 15th April at 7.30pm in Penicuik North Kirk. It was previously cancelled due to the bad weather.
A speaker from Changeworks will take ‘Zero Waste’ as a topic and David from Penicuik North Kirk will describe the refurbishment of the church and the opportunities this created.
Please contact Nan Buchan on nanbuchanhotmailcouk (nanbuchanhotmailcouk) by the 13th April if you would like to attend.
The Esk & Tweed network meeting scheduled for tonight (11th March 2013) at Penicuik North Kirk has been cancelled due to weather conditions. We will contact you as soon as we have re-scheduled to another day.
If you know of anyone intending to attend the meeting please contact them and let them know it is cancelled. Thank you for your help.
Lots of apologies,
The Esk & Tweed Network
As previously announced, Eco-Congregation Scotland is running an event on the role of faith in changing our behaviour towards the environment at the Science Festival.
An A4 PDF leaflet is now available to download and distribute or put on notice boards.
Click here to download it.
The text of the leaflet is as follows:
We cannot combat the effects of Climate Change without altering how we behave. With 2000 years experience in guiding people’s behaviour, what role can religious faith play in the future of our environment?
Journalist Lesley Riddoch chairs a fascinating panel discussion with Professor Michael Northcott from the University of Edinburgh, Professor Stephen Reicher from the University of St Andrews, Dr Rebekah Widdowfield from the Scottish Government and Morag Wilson from WWF Scotland with audience participation fuelling the debate.
The debate will take place at 6pm on Tuesday 2nd April in the Teviot Row Dining Room at the Teviot Student’s Union building, Bristo Square, Edinburgh.
Tickets are £8 (£6) and are available from www.sciencefestival.co.uk, by phoning the box office on 0844 557 2686 or from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival shop, 180 High Street, Edinburgh.
Event organised by Eco-Congregation Scotland and sponsored by Action of Churches Together in Scotland.
You are all warmly invited to Penicuik North Kirk on 11th March at 7.30pm for our network meeting.
The speaker will be a representative from Changeworks – Zero Waste – and will give an overview of aspects of Food Waste, Recycling and Composting.
Since this is our first visit to the North Kirk, the leader of the Eco Team has offered to describe the refurbishment of the Church and the opportunities that this provided. We have been delighted to accept his offer and can look forward to an interesting evening.
Please contact Nan Buchan on nanbuchanhotmailcouk (nanbuchanhotmailcouk) if you would like to come.
Penicuik North Kirk is located at 95 John Street, Penicuik, Midlothian EH26 8AG.