The film, The Letter, will be screened on 28th November 7pm in St Joseph’s RC Church, 2 Eaglesham Rd. Clarkston. You are warmly invited to attend. The screening is part of the launch of a new deanery Eco Committee in East Renfrewshire.
To view the livestream of this event please go to the Maxwell Means Castle Parish Church website and follow the link to their YouTube channel. It will be streamed from 7.30pm on the 22nd of September 2021.
We are delighted to announce that Oakshaw Trinity Church, Paisley has been given a Silver Eco Congregation Scotland Award for their environmental work. The assessors noted that the team at Oakshaw Trinity church had presented a strong application for their silver award. They were impressed by the way in which the team arranged their meetings to ensure that the Kirk Session is kept fully appraised of their work. The assessors also commended the discussion about environmental matters within the congregation.
Oakshaw Trinity Church has links with charity shops and various events in the community. There is a Fair trade shop which operates in the church and links with the shop in the town. The congregation also support the Renfrewshire Foodbank. The church also has strong links with Christian Aid and TearFund.
Springwatch and Autumnwatch events are held and encourage all of the congregation to participate in caring for the grounds around the church. The youth organisations like to work with gardeners to care for creation. The services held on these days link the spiritual and the practical, with discussion of environmental matters.
The assessors noted the ways in which environmental messages are communicated within the congregation and to the wider community. Good use is made of notice boards and newsletters. During the Covid time of lockdown and isolation more use has been made of online communication, with hopes that this will continue beyond the pandemic.
The team at Oakshaw Trinity have found a number of ways to share environmental learning with the congregation. They have used pledge cards to encourage members of the congregation to review their lifestyle and carbon footprint. Their Zero Waste events have been successful and will be repeated when the pandemic rules allow. All age groups have been encouraged to participate in projects.
The team have linked with the Fabric Committee and this has resulted in an improved environmental performance of the church buildings. There has been discussion about ethical investment and environmental philosophy within the congregation and these discussions have resulted in changes in investment and activity.
Eco-Congregation Scotland is always keen to hear from local churches and today our team shares great examples of activities and events. Congregations across our movement continue their work through the pandemic, respecting restrictions while responding to local need and addressing environmental concerns.
We are also pleased to share key events this week organised by partners and coalitions. On St Andrew’s Day, as we celebrate Scotland’s patron who spread the Good News far and wide, we thank all who have attended and participated in a wide variety of recent activities and online meetings, here and globally. This has been crucial as we welcome the world to the COP26 Glasgow climate talks next November. Eco-Congregation Scotland and churches throughout the country have been represented well by so many of our volunteers. We value your involvement, interest and insight.
We also love to share stories from local eco-congregations, to celebrate your wide-ranging work and encourage us all in caring for God’s creation. We were delighted to hear that our 500th eco-congregation Faifley Parish Church is holding a regular Recycle Room every Friday with free clothes bundles, DVDs, books, baby equipment, cushions and bedding thanks to dedicated volunteers and large numbers of donations. Ellis’ facemasks and Elsie’s chutney, pictured below, have been popular and successful fundraisers too!
We look forward to celebrating registration 500 with Faifley Parish when COVID-19 local protection levels allow. A special welcome and thank you to all subsequent new registrations in recent months, taking us to 508 eco-congregations:
If your church is concerned about the environment and wants to get involved, please join our movement today. It’s free to register.
We also encourage membership for your church, to become more active in the charity and support our Local Networks. Membership is again free for smaller churches and up to £100 per year for congregations with the highest incomes, that’s only £8 per month or less than £2 per week.
All membership fees go directly to support Local Network activities through our Programme Coordinator work. It’s easy to join online or print a form and post to us. Please also consider making a one-off or regular donation to support our work as an individual too.
Inspired by our A Sanctuary for Swifts event two weeks ago – which you can watch again online – Central Borders Local Network coordinator Ian Skinner informs us Holy Trinity Melrose is installing a nesting box for swifts on the Trinity Centre. Specially designed for swifts, the box will be placed near the top of the north facing gable with a clear outlook towards Gattonside Hill on the far side of the Tweed. Another two boxes designed for house martins are being placed on the Centre’s east side. Ian adds: “We are looking forward to welcoming new visitors in the spring of 2021!”
These are just some of the diverse environmental activities and interesting events across individual congregations and our Local Networks. Thank you again for your continuing support and that of every church volunteer and all our supporters. It is always appreciated, even more so this challening year. Happy St Andrew’s Day!
An appropriately scary start to the Christian season most concerned with what is to come. Many thanks Scottish writer, academic and activist Alastair McIntosh on the first Sunday of Advent followed by Rev Julia Meason today, minister of Kirkwall East linked with Shapinsay, and to all opening our alternative Advent Calendar.
Financing Climate Justice Monday 30th November 2020, 12.00noon https://climatefringe.org/sccs-live-events/ Rich nations like ours have a duty to deliver a fair share of support for poorer countries on the front line of the climate crisis. Tune in to this Climate Fringe event to find out more.
Eco-Congregation Scotland is inviting church volunteers in our Local Networks and supporters across the country to our online events and activities over the next fortnight. We are also pleased to share partner organisation events including the Prayer Service for Climate Justice and Just Transition Commission update.
Swifts are ancient and fascinating birds. Sadly their populations are on the decline and are now regarded as Amber conservation status. RSPB Scotland is encouraging Edinburgh as a place of sanctuary for these amazing birds – with support from the Scottish Power Foundation – and looking for churches to host swift nesting boxes. We will also hear from Huntly & District Swift Group, working hard to protect these wonderful birds in their local area. Wherever you live in Scotland, come and find out more about these amazing birds and the work being done to care for them.
We are encouraging Scotland’s churches, faith groups and local communities to offer hospitality and welcome for COP26 next year. Join this Climate Fringe gathering if you are interested in hosting events during COP26 or just want to find out more about opening your doors as a church, hall or local venue. Speakers at this meeting will take us through what we can expect, sharing previous COP experiences.
Faith and civil society groups from all over the world will need space for meeting, holding events and floor space for sleeping. This meeting is for those who manage venues, large or small, within an hour’s commute from Glasgow including places of worship and community halls or any group that has a meeting room that can be booked externally.
The Global Compact on Refugees, adopted by an overwhelming majority at the UN General Assembly in December 2018, directly recognises that ‘climate, environmental degradation and natural disasters increasingly interact with the drivers of refugee movements’.
At this online public event, members of the Just Transition Commission will share some of the emerging themes from their work to date, ahead of delivering their final recommendations to Scottish Ministers in early 2021. This will be your opportunity to explore and discuss their findings, and the solutions proposed to deliver a just transition in Scotland. The Commission was set up last year to give practical advice on how Scotland can meet ambitious climate change targets in a way that is fair for all.
As a Christian charity, one of our purposes is the “promotion of religious, racial and social harmony through a demonstration that care for creation is an essential part of all faiths and by working with other faiths and groups to promote this understanding”.
Eco-Congregation Scotland is delighted to support Interfaith Scotland and local interfaith groups along with the UK Faith for the Climate network in all our combined efforts towards the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow next year.
We thank those who are already active through their own church connecting with other faiths – particularly at this time of year – and encourage our volunteers and friends to join events connecting faiths during Scottish Interfaith Week from 8th to 15th November.
Hosted by Hope for the Future and Faith for the Climate, bringing together constituents and Members of Parliament from across the UK, marking the previous start date of COP26 before it was postponed due to the pandemic. Please join us to reflect on the potential of this coming year, in the run up to the new conference start date in November 2021.
This event welcomes people from all faith traditions and backgrounds – as well as MPs from across the political spectrum – to reflect, share and consider the vision of this year as the UK prepares to host the UN’s annual climate negotiations, with contributions from:
Kate Hughes, Director for International Climate Change at BEIS (UK Government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
Jonathan McAveety, Senior Campaigns Officer at SCIAF (Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund)
Isabella O’Dowd, Senior Climate Change Specialist at WWF
Join the final of three global sessions organised by the Interfaith Liaison Committee to the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). Reaching the time of what should have been the COP26 in Glasgow, this session offers a space for dialogue on faith-based climate action.
Stories of hope in action from faith communities around the world are shared and reflected on. The session offers interactive opportunities for participants, facilitating connections and raising motivation for the year ahead. Join friends around the world to learn, discuss and explore climate action with opening speakers:
The moderator is Brussels-based Chiara Martinelli from CIDSE, the international family of Catholic social justice organisations including SCIAF. This interactive meeting hosted by Interfaith Scotland and Interfaith Glasgow includes a breakout session enabling all to participate fully. Please join us to help share your own hopes for the future from Scotland.
Workshop organised by Deeside CAN, formed out of representatives from four Aberdeen Local Network eco-congregations in Banchory and Torphins, including Eco-Congregation Scotland depute chair Richard Murray:
“CAN stands for Climate Action Network; it also means Care And Nurture. We are a group of people living on Royal Deeside in Aberdeenshire, who want to do something to minimise climate change, reduce waste and decrease the loss of biodiversity.”
“Do you want to know how your lifestyle impacts the environment – or what to do to reduce your carbon footprint? Our lifestyles are impacting the environment and causing climate change. We need to change! The Scottish Government has set a Net Zero target for 2045. This means we must all reduce our carbon footprint by 4% every year. Come and join our free Zoom workshop.”
Responding to the news, Eco-Congregation Scotland chair Mary Sweetland said:
"We understand absolutely the need to postpone the climate conference in the face of a dire emergency but strongly support the conference being held in Glasgow as soon as is possible in 2021."
"Churches and other faith groups around the world have responded to the immediate crisis with practical action, compassion and love. We must build on this to ensure that after the pandemic we work to build a country and a world where we care for each other and for creation. The UN climate conference is a critical part of that response."
"Eco-Congregation Scotland will continue to work positively with churches and other faith groups across Scotland and around the world to make the climate conference in Glasgow a success in 2021."
Eco-Congregation Scotland is already linking regularly with local and national partners, to encourage hospitality with a warm welcome for visitors attending CoP26 and a legacy of transformational change to tackle the climate emergency at home and around the world.
Key partners include: Glasgow Churches Together, Church of Scotland and the Presbytery of Glasgow, Archdiocese of Glasgow, Scottish Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway, United Reformed Church Synod of Scotland, Methodist Church, Baptist Union of Scotland, The Salvation Army; Christian Aid Scotland, SCIAF, Tearfund Scotland, Justice and Peace Scotland, The Iona Community; Interfaith Scotland, Interfaith Glasgow, Edinburgh Interfaith Association, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, Action of Churches Together in Scotland.
Please get in touch to join our work towards making CoP26 a success in Glasgow.