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Interested in becoming an assessor?

Have you ever considered becoming an assessor for our new eco-awards?  Perhaps you would like to join our volunteer team.  Volunteer assessors work in pairs to read award applications, then visit a congregation to discuss the application in a friendly and supportive way.  It’s a great way to find out what other eco-congregations are up to.

If you are interested, why not come along to a no-commitment award assessor training workshop to find out what is involved?  The next workshop has been arranged for Wednesday 4th September, 7 – 9pm, in the Robertson Room, St. Anne’s Parish Church, Corstorphine, Edinburgh.

Places limited, so booking essential – please contact David Bethune, coordinator@ecocongregationscotland.org to book a place.

updated award documents

Thinking of applying for an award?

Make sure you have the most up-to-date version of the application forms and supporting documents, uploaded to the website today.

We have made a few minor changes to the award criteria, to make them a little clearer for everyone.

Who will be next to apply for an award?

ECO CONGREGATION SCOTLAND WELCOMES STEPHEN CURRAN AS NEW MANAGER

Eco-Congregation Scotland is excited to announce the appointment of Stephen Curran as manager.

Stephen  brings a wealth of skills and experience with him  to this important post.   As a Glasgow City Councillor he has served as City Treasurer, and Executive Member for Education and Young People; and has been active in the Justice and Peace movement and a wide range of community organisations.

Mary Sweetland, Chairman of Trustees, welcoming Stephen to the team said:

We look forward to a step change in Churches taking action to mitigate the impact of climate chaos with the appointment of Stephen and our new Eco-Chaplain, Rev David Coleman, next month.

Stephen is joining ECS at a time of rapid growth, with the number of eco-congregations across Scotland now over 430 and growing.  He said:

With a longstanding interest in environmental issues and faith action, I am delighted to take on the charity manager role at Eco-Congregation Scotland, supporting churches to tackle climate justice and address more sustainable use of assets and resources.

I recognise the growing impact of individual congregations striving to live the Gospel today in addressing climate justice, linking environmental issues to faith in practice.

Encouraging and supporting this work is one of the great challenges of our time and I am honoured to be asked to manage Eco-Congregation Scotland to help achieve this.    

Stephen has been involved in church life across Scotland, supporting and encouraging a range of churches on social action. He has three children and has lived on Glasgow’s south side for twenty years where he attends St Helen’s parish.

 

Biographical details:

imageStephen has three decades of voluntary involvement in a range of charities, boards, committees and campaign groups. He developed a keen interest in environment and development issues at church and school in Ayr, where he started a Justice and Peace group, fundraising for charities working at home and overseas.  He studied law to postgraduate level at the University of Dundee, where he chaired the Catholic Society and participated in ecumenical chaplaincy activities including the Christian Union and One World Group.

He subsequently worked in healthcare, retail management and IT training before eight years as a parliamentary aide for an MP and MSP representing Scotland’s most ethnically diverse constituency, engaging with local churches and campaigners on sustainability and climate change.  He continued that interest through his role as an elected Councillor in Glasgow since 2003 – assuming senior roles on finance, service reform, health and social care integration, scrutiny of policing, education and community planning – bringing to the charity manager post significant experience in building partnerships.

Stephen served ten years as a Strathclyde Pension Fund trustee and successfully encouraged more focus on corporate, social and environmental responsibility in local government pension fund investments.  For the past nine years, he was also a board member of The Hidden Gardens Trust, a community development charity encouraging volunteering through a multi-cultural greenspace.

Since 2015 he has served three years in his most recent employment as Scotland and North of England operations manager with Community Money Advice, a Christian charity supporting 157 free debt advice centres run by churches, foodbanks and local groups.

Central Borders network meeting

The next EcoCongregation Central Borders Network meeting will be on Thursday 13th September commencing at 7.30 pm.  Kindly hosted by Hawick Baptist Church the venue will be The Well, Bourtree Terrace, TD9 9HN; it’s suggested that we park by Morrisons and walk up.

AGENDA

  1. Welcome, introductions and apologies
  2. New Members
  3. Greener Borders Winter Talks 2018/19
  4. Reports from Congregations
  5. EcoCongregation news
  6. “Ethical Finance and the Disinvestment Movement” – discussion led by David Bethune
  7. AOB
  8. Date/venue for next meeting

Postcode Local Trust – Short Window Funding available

There are a few days left to apply if you’re looking for financial help towards biodiversity and outdoor projects! Get your skates on!

Established in 2015, the Postcode Local Trust provides grants to projects that are beneficial to local areas. It offers funding for outdoor projects related to play areas, green spaces, sustainable energy and conservation. Postcode Local Trust operates its own society lottery and receives all of its funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

The Postcode Local Trust is offering grants for local projects which support improve biodiversity and outdoor spaces such as:

  • Community gardens and play areas using sustainable materials.
  • Outdoor education and heritage.
  • Green energy projects and flood prevention.

Grants range from £500 to £20,000. Only registered charities can apply for grants of up to £20,000. The maximum grant for groups that are not formally registered as a charity is £2,000.

There is a two-step application process.

Stage 1 applications will be accepted from 1 August to 15 August 2018.

http://www.postcodelocaltrust.org.uk/applying-for-a-grant

Volunteering Matters Action Earth grants

Anyone looking for small grants towards their church conservation project? We’d particularly suggest checking this out if you’re taking part in the Faith Action for Nature project.

Grab A Grant!  As the blistering hot summer starts fading into a more recognisable Scottish pattern, now is the time to start thinking about preparing your local outdoor green spaces for Autumn and Winter.   Volunteering Matters Action Earth grants of £250 are available to any group of volunteers who are carrying out practical conservation, biodiversity work and habitat creation. We also have a VERY LIMITED number of Enhanced Health Grants of £500 for projects providing substantial health benefits. All Projects must complete by December  1st 2018.
To get started, click this link to REGISTER.
For more information visit our website at https://volunteeringmatters.org.uk/project/action-earth/

Good Money Week 2018

Good Money Week is a campaign to show you there are sustainable and ethical options when it comes to your bank, pension, savings and investments.

At this year’s Good Money Week conference on we will provide you with an opportunity to consider how your faith, values and finances interact. Learn how the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) relate to positive decisions about our money and how we can help ensure a sustainable world now and in the future.

Date: 9:30 – 13:30, Wednesday 3 October 2018

Venue: City of Edinburgh Methodist Church, 25 Nicolson Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9BX

The conference will be chaired by Wendy Young from Christian Aid Scotland. There will be a keynote address on intergenerational justice from Christopher Stockwell (ECCR), and you will have the opportunity to take part in workshop sessions looking at the Climate Change and Education SDGs followed by a Q&A panel discussion.

Confirmed workshop: Triodos Bank, Scotwest Credit Union with Young Scot and Prosper Social Finance – more follow.

The event is free and open to the public. Delegates are also invited to join us for a complimentary buffet lunch.

Partners: Church of Scotland, ECCR, EthicalFutures, Anderson MacPhie Financial Services, Oikocredit, Christian Aid Scotland, Triodos Bank, Scotwest Credit Union

Sponsored by: Triodos Bank, EthicalFutures and Anderson MacPhie Financial Services

For more information and booking click here