We are delighted to announce that Livingston United Parish Church, Nether Dechmont Community Centre, Livingston has been awarded an Eco-Congregation Scotland Bronze Award on 06/09/2019 in recognition of their work and commitment to caring for creation.
Livingston United Parish Church were especially commended by the assessors for the level of involvement of many individuals in the planning and the continuing good communication links, as well as the way communications are made.
They were also commended for the way they embed creation themes into worship, prayer and learning. A foundation in spiritual living & worship is embedded in the ethos of the worship team in promoting all matters of environmental & peace and justice concern. This is achieved in a variety of ways with all ages and places on the journey included.
Also noted for special commendation were the number of varied actions and creative activities available to the congregation and local community which continue to be supported as well as the evident embedding of the eco congregation values into what they are doing.
Selkirk Parish Church have been awarded their Eco Congregation Scotland Gold Award. The Parish Church has just achieved the highest award as an Eco Congregation, only the sixth in Scotland to receive a Gold Award, and the first to experience a virtual assessment via Zoom. The congregation was delighted to learn that all the criteria under the headings of Spiritual, Practical and Global Living were met or exceeded. They were particularly commended for the use of the pop-up shop as a monthly Recycling Clinic and drop off point. So thanks to those in the community for collecting and bringing those hard-to-recycle items to the pop-up shop. (eg crisp packets, bottle tops, old watches, jewellery and mobiles) The church eco group ensures these items are recycled in an environmentally responsible way, benefitting a number of charities. These practical actions demonstrate the congregation’s conviction that caring for the environment is an essential outworking of their Christian faith. The Gold Award criteria also require the congregation to take action on a wide range of other environmental issues including bio-diversity and climate change.
The congregation hopes to celebrate this achievement when the current restrictions allow. Please follow the Selkirk Parish Church Facebook page for the latest news and events. “The Gold Award challenges us all to maintain and build on the achievement!”
Westray Parish Church on the island of Westray in the Orkney Isles has become the 5th congregation to gain an Eco-Congregation Scotland Gold Award.
Westray Parish Church had applied for a silver award. However when the assessors visited them they realised that the work being done by the congregation far exceeded that standard and decided that they should be given their Gold Award. The congregation have been especially commended by the assessors for the way the church has been leading the community through involvement in island wide energy projects such as installing a community owned wind turbine and a project with Lottery and Scottish Government grant funding which worked to identify the 9 houses on Westray most severely affected by fuel poverty and energy inefficency. The project took them out of fuel poverty by installing ground source heat pumps, double glazing, extra insulation and draft proofing in each home. The activity of Fair Trade Group, under the Chairmanship of the minister resulted in Westray being recognised as a Fair Trade island in 2007.
The award assessors noted the great connections that the church has with their local community and their commitment to Eco-Congregation Scotland which now spans over 20 years. They were impressed with the legacy fund that the congregation have made available to other Orkney Parish Churches. This fund has allowed other churches to proceed with their own eco work. The assessors said that Westray Parish Church is a case study of how to do it. Amazing and inspirational!
Westray Parish Eco-Congregation co-ordinator Alasdair McVicar said: “This should be a source of great pride for the congregation and it’s very fine to have good news during these strange times but we know it’s an ongoing commitment and we welcome that”.
Parish Minister, Iain MacDonald added: “It’s lovely to have something to celebrate collectively but these awards should never be seen as something to stick on the wall so we can sit back and admire them but as an incentive to us all to maintain the high standards and to build on them”.
Eco-Congregation Scotland Stirling network are looking forward to their meeting on Wednesday 25th of March from 2-4pm(New date to be confirmed) when the topic is “All about Food.” Stuart Guzinski of Forth Environment Link will be talking about the work that they do involving food and growing. FEL has run Stirling NeighbourFood an online farmers market for ethical, local and seasonal produce which they have recently handed over management of to The Kitchen at 44 King Street, a soon-to-open community kitchen, food event space and cookery school. Sara Macmillan from this social enterprise will also be joining us to share her exciting plans for more community food activity in Stirling with the network.
All are welcome to attend this event. To assist with catering, if you would like to come along please let us know by filling in the contact form on the events page of this website.
Cadder Parish Church, Bishopbriggs, are offering an opportunity for you to consider your response to climate change. Come along between 10 and 12, to hear speakers from Eco-Congregation Scotland and Christian Aid, Scotland. Join in discussion and find out what other folk are doing personally and in their congregations in response to climate change.
All are welcome. To help with catering, please can you use the form on this page to indicate if you are likely to attend.
Buchlyvie Church have been holding a Christmas tree festival on the December weekends in the run up to Christmas. The theme is “He’s got the whole world in His hands” Fifteen trees have been beautifully decorated by village groups and individuals and include up-cycling, save the oceans, polar ice cap, after the rains comes the rainbow, and birds, bees and butterfly conservation.
If you are in the area this weekend (21st and 22nd December 2019) it would be worth popping along to see the trees. (Please see our events page for details)