Category Archives: Highland

Climate Justice Baton in Inverness and the Highland News #cop21baton

The Climate Justice baton visited Ness Bank Church on July 12th and was reported on by the Highland News.

Credit: Highland News.

Full text of the article below:

Inverness church takes up baton to spread eco message

Eco-Congregation Scotland is behind the baton relay which stopped off at Ness Bank Church on Sunday en route to Paris for the UN Climate Change Summit in December.

The hand-made baton was created by the Greyfriars Recycling of Wood Project and carries the message: “Time for Climate Justice: Churches in Scotland Demand a Deal in Paris, December 2015.”

The baton, which is passing around churches across Scotland this summer, alerts congregations to the summit and carries the hopes and aspirations of Christians across Scotland for the conference.

At each stage host churches are being asked to write a postcard to the Scottish Government minister for environment, climate change and land reform, Aileen McLeod.

She sent the baton on the first leg of its journey in Falkirk in April, to tell her about the progress of the baton around Scotland.

The baton also visited the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in May.

Rev Fiona Smith of Ness Bank Church, said: “Many of the congregation stayed behind after the service for photos with the baton which I think showed how supportive they are.

“It’s a hugely important issue but it’s quite difficult for us in the land of plenty to feel the impact of climate change and that we are making a difference. Climate change is affecting all parts of the world and some of the poorest people in places such as South America and Asia.

“If we work together, people from all walks of life, the issue can make progress and it must be tackled by the politicians.”

Ms McLeod said: “This is a crucial year in the effort to combat climate change and it is vital that Scotland sends a strong message to world leaders when they meet in Paris in December to agree a new global treaty on this.

“Eco-Congregation Scotland’s climate justice baton will do just that and encourage the international community to follow Scotland’s example by setting ambitious targets.

“I look forward to receiving the postcards that chart the baton’s journey the length and breadth of this country and being able to use these in Paris as evidence of the strength of feeling here in Scotland about climate change.

“I also hope this baton will inspire church members and communities across Scotland to reflect on what more we can all do in our day-to-day lives to help tackle climate change.”

At the Paris conferences, governments are expected to forge a new global deal on climate change, including commitments from both developed and developing countries to limit greenhouse gas emissions, to take effect from 2020 when current commitments run out.

Rich nations promised at the Copenhagen summit in 2009 that by 2020, at least $100 billion a year would be channelled to the developing world, to help cut emissions and adapt to climate change. So far only about half of that target has been met.

You can follow @ecocongregation on Twitter to see the baton’s progress or use the hashtag #cop21baton.

Urray and Kilchrist Church receive Eco-Congregation Award!

Congratulations to Urray and Kilchrist Church who have received the Eco-Congregation Award and become the 121st congregation in Scotland to gain this status. The assessors particularly commended the congregation on the commitment and perseverance shown in improving the building fabric and reducing the carbon footprint of the church; the spiritual leadership shown by Eco-Congregation advocates; and the large charity collection efforts.

Well done!

Highland Network Event, 22 April: Should the Church be investing in fossil fuels?

Should the Church be investing in fossil fuel companies?

Wednesday 22 April, 7.30-9.00 pm: Inverness Trinity Church IV3 8HA

All very welcome!

Churches are being asked to look at their investments with fresh eyes because of growing concerns about the impact of fossil fuel companies on the earth’s climate. Campaigners such as Greenfaith in the USA and Operation Noah in the UK are calling on churches to sell their investments in fossil fuel companies and reinvest in sustainable energy companies instead. In the UK the Quakers have agreed to divest and other denominations are looking at the options. Other investors, for example Glasgow University, have agreed to divest; Edinburgh is considering the move.

The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has instructed staff to examine the arguments for and against divestment and to report back. We need to examine this complex and challenging subject and need the input of congregations to help us do this. What should the Church of Scotland and other Scottish denominations do? We are urging eco-congregtion networks to get involved in the debate.

Adrian Shaw, the Church of Scotland’s Climate Change Officer, will lead a talk and discussion to examine this complex and challenging subject.

You can download a poster to print out and share with your congregation here.

Would you like a theatre group to visit your church?

The Riding Lights Theatre Company will be touring a new show about Climate Change from a Christian perspective between September and November this year (see details below).

So far only two churches in Scotland have shown an interest, but if there is sufficient demand they might put on another week touring Scotland – from 16th November.

If you are interested please contact them via their web site



Booking now open for Annual Gathering 2015!

Booking is now open for the Eco-Congregation Scotland Annual Gathering on April 25 2015.

Eco-Congregation Scotland Annual Gathering 2015
Preparing For Paris


Saturday 25th April 2015, 10:00am – 3:15pm
Falkirk Trinity Church, Manse Place, Falkirk.
(Nearest rail station, Falkirk Grahamston)

Booking form (PDF File)

Booking form with full workshop, speaker and travel details (Word Format)


Main speakers

Aileen McLeod MSP, Minister for Climate Change, Scottish Government
Kathy Galloway, Director, Christian Aid Scotland


 About our Annual Gathering

This December leaders from around the world will meet in Paris to try and reach an international agreement on climate change. Come along to our Annual Gathering to find our what the Scottish government and voluntary organisations are doing to put pressure on world leaders for an agreement on climate change, and how to make your voice head. We will also have practical workshops on making your congregations more climate-friendly.


A new look for our award application forms!

We are pleased to announce that we have redesigned our Eco-Congregation award application forms to help make the award application and assessment process easier for congregations. There are now three different award application forms depending on which award your congregation is applying for, and clearer guidelines throughout the form to make the process as smooth as possible.

Don’t forget, if you have any queries or need assistance applying for the award, please just get in touch.


We now have 117 award-winning congregations with more joining their numbers all the time – why not join them!