Heart and Soul

Welcome to Church and Society’s first digital participatory budgeting initiative. We are developing new projects with congregations and would like your input. Please have a look at the project ideas below, chat about them with friends or colleagues if you like, and vote at the bottom of this page. Voting ends at midnight on Friday 24th May, and results will be posted on this page. The results will help inform how we develop our plans for the next year.

Thank you for your participation!


Trees for Churches
Orchard Twinning Project
Money Makes the World Go Round
Planting fruit trees is both a symbolic and practical expression of care for Creation. It is a recognition of the fruitfulness of Creation and a source of healthy food; an orchard requires care and nurture to thrive; and with care will enhance green spaces both for humans and wildlife, particularly in urban areas.

Read more…

We want to inspire church and community orchard planting in Scotland. To do this the Church of Scotland, Reformed Church in Hungary are working together with Okogyulekezet (Eco-congregation) Hungary, Eco-Congregation Scotland, and a UK charity The Orchard Project. The project is part funded by the European Christian Environment Network (ECEN) but churches who wish to be involved will have to make a significant commitment of time, effort and in some cases a financial contribution.

Who is eligible?

To take part you must have access to land suitable for an orchard, be prepared to work with a Hungarian church partner, including travel and providing hospitality and make a long term commitment to look after an orchard. Planning, and training and will be provided by The Orchard Project, a charity with staff based in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

We need funding to move beyond a pilot stage and open the project to more churches across Scotland.

Have you ever considered the fact that we could change the world with money? It’s quite simple really. If we all used our investments to fund organisations and companies which reflect our values, perhaps things would start to change.

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Talking about investments sounds quite intimidating, but we are going to create a resource to help you get your head around ethical finance. This resource will take you on a journey of discovery as we explore ideas for exciting new ways to do economics.

To do this we need funding. Funding will go towards the design and production of a resource, and a project worker who will ensure that you are getting the best you can get from the materials.

New Scots’ Holidays Give Me Five
Refugee integration is a two-way process that involves refugees as well as receiving communities like you and me. New Scots Holidays allows members of local churches in Scotland to welcome refugees in their homes for short breaks, offering a space for rest and recreation.

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New Scots Holidays is designed to support the integration of refugees in Scotland as well as to help local churches feel supported and prepared to welcome refugees, so that everyone can feel involved and empowered in sharing hopes and aspirations.

New Scots Holidays creates opportunities to build friendships across cultures and allows refugees to learn more about life in Scotland beyond their home neighbourhood.

The holiday programme also underlines the dignity of refugees who have not only come here to seek safety, but that they also have chances to lead fulfilling lives and enjoy the country they are now a part of.

The benefits of going on holiday are widely understood. Everyone needs a break to recover from a busy period, to re-focus and to enjoy new experiences. Refugees may face barriers to taking holidays due to lack of knowledge, language confidence or financial resources.

We require funding to enable refugees to participate in a respite by financing their transport fares to their hosting church. We would also like to prepare local churches for hosting refugees and offer ongoing training and support which requires funds.

Poverty currently affects one in four children in Scotland and the most recent statistics suggest that the situation is getting worse. Tackling poverty is good for us all and we believe that social security should enable children to access all the opportunities available to them.

Increasing Child Benefit by just £5 a week for every child could lift tens of thousands of children out of poverty.

Read more…

The Church of Scotland is working alongside faith groups such as the Scottish Episcopal Church and Justice and Peace Scotland, as well as third sector organisations such as The Poverty Alliance, Children in Scotland and the Child Poverty Action Group, to lobby the Scottish Government to agree to this benefit top-up.

The campaign is run by groups and charities that care about children and want to meaningfully tackle the increasing problem of child poverty. Lobbying the Scottish Government is done in staff time by those committed to the campaign.

However with some funding it would be possible to run workshops and meetings where the message could be spread across Scotland and individuals and local groups could lobby their local politicians.


What Project Should the Church Support?
  • Give Me Five 30%, 24 votes
    24 votes 30%
    24 votes - 30% of all votes
  • Money makes the World go Round 25%, 20 votes
    20 votes 25%
    20 votes - 25% of all votes
  • New Scots' Holidays 25%, 20 votes
    20 votes 25%
    20 votes - 25% of all votes
  • Orchard Twinning Project 20%, 16 votes
    16 votes 20%
    16 votes - 20% of all votes
Total Votes: 80
May 8, 2019 - May 26, 2019
Voting is closed


What project would you get involved in?
  • Orchard Twinning Project 31%, 45 votes
    45 votes 31%
    45 votes - 31% of all votes
  • New Scots' Holidays 24%, 36 votes
    36 votes 24%
    36 votes - 24% of all votes
  • Give Me Five 23%, 34 votes
    34 votes 23%
    34 votes - 23% of all votes
  • Money Makes the World go Round 22%, 32 votes
    32 votes 22%
    32 votes - 22% of all votes
Total Votes: 147
Voters: 77
May 8, 2019 - May 26, 2019
Voting is closed