2023 Annual Gathering and AGM: Tackling the climate, cost of living and energy crises

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2023 Annual Gathering and AGM: Tackling the climate, cost of living and energy crises




We are delighted to hold this year’s Annual Gathering on Saturday 22nd April 2023 hosted by Livingston United Parish Church.

The Annual Gathering is free and open to all, taking place as a blended, hybrid experience with both physical in-person and virtual online attendance available for participants. Main venue events will be open to all attendees, while optional afternoon workshops and seminars will either be in Livingston or online.

Eco-Congregation Scotland 2023 Annual Gathering
Saturday 22nd April 2023 10.30am – 4.00pm (doors open 10.00am)
Livingston United Parish Church, Nether Dechmont Community Centre, Fells Rigg, Deans, Livingston EH54 8AX
and online through Zoom – please register below

The Annual General Meeting is scheduled from 1.15pm to 1.45pm.

Our 2023 Annual Gathering theme focuses on tackling the crises we face this year – climate emergency, cost of living and energy – bringing together volunteers from across Scotland. This also takes place on Earth Day 2023 which has “Invest In Our Planet” as its theme which we will link our discussions to.

Often the focus is on immediate need, with churches providing urgent support for those facing the brunt of the cost of living and energy crises. However, we know the answer to these must be part of addressing the pressing challenges of the climate emergency. We are looking to highlight the crises and help provide practical options for response in our communities, along with opportunities to campaign for a just, green nation in a fairer world.

Most of Scotland’s churches, of different sizes and denominations throughout the country, are committing to Net Zero carbon emissions this decade and are active in encouraging action in their local communities, through volunteers motivated by climate justice to address the worst impact of climate change often on the poorest.

The full agenda will be updated here regularly:


10.00am   Doors Open

10.30am   Welcome – Marjory McGhie, on behalf of hosts Livingston United Parish Church (LUPC) and its work as a Silver Award-winning eco-congregation

10.35am   Setting the scene – Christine Thomson of Craiglockhart Parish Church tells the story of our Stitches For Survival backdrop, craftivism still helping those in need

10.40am   Earth Day 2023 – We join over 1 billion people today, with a message from Earth Day network president Kathleen Rogers.

10.42am   Tackling the climate, cost of living and energy crises – Invest in our planet
Chaired by John Seenan, Eco-Congregation Scotland deputy chair of board of trustees and St Joseph’s Parish, Clarkston

Keynote speaker: Dr Lorna Gold – Director of Movement Building, FaithInvest and Laudato Si’ Movement chair

Guest speaker: Emma Jackson – National Director Scotland, Christians Against Poverty

11.30am   Question and Answer Session with Panel

12.15pm   Lunch – free for all attendees onsite at The Barn Community Cafe run by LUPC. Please provide any dietary requirements in the registration form below.


1. Welcome – Richard Murray, Eco-Congregation Scotland chairperson
2. Apologies for absence
3. Approval of minutes from 2022 AGM
4. Chairperson’s Report on the activities of Eco-Congregation Scotland
5. Any Questions?
6. Annual Accounts and Financial Report – Mary Sweetland, Treasurer
7. Appointment of Independent Examiner
8. Election/re-election of Trustees
9. Any other competent business

While only Full Members can vote at the AGM, it remains open to all as part of our Annual Gathering and anyone can attend the AGM to hear more about the work of the charity from our trustees.
If you are unable to attend the AGM as the named Full Member, but wish to appoint someone else as your Proxy to take part on your behalf for your church, this can be selected at the foot of the registration form – or you can email this information directly if easier.
Full Members are named individuals who represent a registered eco-congregation and pay a fee, depending on church income, ringfenced to support our Programme Coordinator staff and related local church or regional Network activities.

1.45pm   Workshop 1              

2.35pm   Workshop 2

Workshop and seminar options are chosen by participants at 1.45pm and 2.35pm, including:

Net Zero Churches: What does it mean and what can you do?
Hear from James Anthony, our Net Zero Coordinator. James was previously Gate Church International operations director leading development of Gate Church Carbon Saving Project and coordinator of Climate Sunday, an initiative of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland. (1.45pm only)

Talking Climate Justice: How your church can get involved
Lucy Le Roux, Christian Aid Scotland Campaigns and Advocacy Coordinator will encourage you to get active with Talking Climate JusticeLetters for Creation and the Loss and Damage Campaign.

Ditching the Basket: Being the light that shines! – Church in Climate Crisis
Rev David Coleman, our ecumenical EcoChaplain with a hybrid seminar. Eco-Congregation Scotland is delighted that the United Reformed Church is generously extending this special category ministry for a further five years.

Drop-in café: Information from Eco-Congregation staff and partner organisations
As an alternative to workshops and seminars, drop into The Barn Community Cafe for tea/coffee, an informal one-to-one chat with Eco-Congregation Scotland staff and information stalls from partner organisations.

3.25pm  Closing remarks and thanks
Richard Murray, Eco-Congregation Scotland chairperson of board of trustees and All Saints’ Church, Whiterashes, Aberdeenshire

3.30pm   Closing Worship – Rev David Coleman, Eco-Chaplain

4.00pm   Ends

We encourage attendees to use public transport where possible and practicable, with the venue 10 minutes walk from Livingston North rail station. If you are travelling by car, there is adequate parking next to LUPC, with thanks to neighbouring Livingston Elim Pentecostal Church providing its car park in support. We look forward to welcoming you in Livingston or online.

While the Annual Gathering is a free event, please consider supporting our work with a donation: https://www.ecocongregationscotland.org/contact-details/one-off-donation-2/