This is the latest news from the Angus Eco-Congregation network.
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We are delighted to announce that Dunnichen, Letham and Kirkden Church have been awarded their Silver Eco- Congregation Scotland Award. This is the second highest level of award and shows the commitment of the congregation to their work to care for creation.
The assessors specially commended a number of areas of this small congregation’s work. It was noted they had made really effective use of their existing leadership structures to make sure that their Eco work was embedded as a responsibility for each of the smaller groups reporting to the Kirk Session. This structure helped new ideas to be discussed and developed, leading to plans being approved by the Kirk Session and integrated with all aspects of the life of the church.
The assessors praised the good links with community groups in the parish that has led to work on joint projects. This has included asking the local school to help with developing the church grounds. Dunnichen, Letham, Kirkden Church has an established pattern of keeping the community in touch try providing a very valuable Parish Magazine. The congregation also run film nights on an environmental theme. These have generated lots of interest from people in the community.
Our assessors were delighted to hear about interests the church has in learning from and supporting the work of a wide range of charities. The congregation are keen to support and promote Fair Trade goods, encouraging everyone to shop locally, and to reduce food miles.
The congregation have been exploring the journey of recycled goods. The members have also looked at ways to reduce waste and energy use through adapting their lifestyles. They have been running a rag bag scheme to help recycle clothing. Interest and awareness raising in these eco matters has been taken up the children’s and youth groups, and is now an important part of their work.
We wish the congregation well as they continue to develop their care for creation further in years to come.Continue reading →
Join our movement today
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:
- Campsie Parish Church
- Kilbarchan Parish Church of Scotland
- St Ninian’s Catholic Church, Dundee
- Blackford Parish Church, Perthshire
- Liberton Northfield Parish Church, Edinburgh
- St James-the-Less Episcopal Church, Penicuik
- St Mary’s Episcopal Church, Grangemouth
- St Mungo’s Episcopal Church, West Linton
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!”
A Just Transition for Scotland’s Housing is also available to watch online, our major open event with the Just Transition Commission and the Methodist Church in Scotland hosted by Stirling Methodist Church. Commissioners positively engaged with the well-attended event and points made throughout were recognised in their ongoing work, emphasising the importance of housing for Scotland to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2045.
Well done and thank you all Kinross Parish Church Eco-Congregation group volunteers who picked up a “terrifying” amount of litter pictured above last Saturday in the space of about an hour. We also congratulate St Mary’s Eco-Congregation TOA (Take One Action) Local group in Dalkeith, holding another successful film evening to watch and discuss “Catching the Sun“, exploring workers and business leaders racing to lead the clean energy future.
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.
The Judge to Cheer the Forest is our ecumenical and varied video Advent Calendar online, offering a 1-2 minute reading and reflection until Christmas Eve. Please view and share the items daily at Eco-Chaplain online and Eco-Congregation Scotland, on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube every day of Advent.
Financing Climate Justice
Monday 30th November 2020, 12.00noon
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.
Let’s talk about the climate emergency – Our Global Connections
Monday 30th November 2020, 7.30pm
How we live impacts on climate change and the lives of others. Join us to talk, pray and reflect on Our Global Connections, the November theme in our “Let’s talk about the climate emergency” resources.
Restraining Climate Change: What is the Role of Faith Communities?
Tuesday 1st December 2020, 7.30pm
Climate emergency, coronavirus and Brexit. How can we as faith communities work with others to build a just and green future? These are moments of great opportunity but also significant challenge. Hosted by St Columba’s-by-the-Castle Episcopal Church in Edinburgh, join the discussion with:
- Dr Murdo Macdonald – Policy Officer of the Church of Scotland Society, Religion and Technology (SRT) project, marking its 50th anniversary
- Rev’d Prof David Aktinson – retired Professor of Agriculture and priest in the Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney
- Justin Kenrick – Quaker anthropologist, Extinction Rebellion and community land rights activist
- Rev’d Dr Gillian Straine – Anglican priest and Director of the Guild of Health and St Raphael.
Glasgow City Region Climate Adaptation StrategyContinue reading →
Wednesday 2nd December 2020, 2.00pm East and West Dunbartonshire
Thursday 3rd December 2020, 7.00pm Young persons event
Climate Ready Clyde is consulting until Christmas Eve on the draft Glasgow City Region Adaptation Strategy, seeking to ensure the region’s society, environment and economy are prepared and can flourish in the future climate.
Dundee’s golden Gate – our ‘outstanding’ seventh Gold Award 🥇
Today’s newsletter shares the exciting news of our seventh Gold Award recipient and encourages volunteers to register for the Climate Challenge Fund annual gathering and film night discussion. Great photo courtesy of Gate Church International of solar panels on the community centre immediately behind the church building.Continue reading →
Dundee church is seventh to achieve an Eco-Congregation Gold Award
This means that they have met or exceeded Eco-Congregation’s Gold Award standards in spiritual living, practical living and global living, while also addressing some more general aspects of environmental care. As our most challenging Award, a successful Gold assessment recognises congregations which have developed a long-term commitment to promoting environmental issues as an integral part of their congregational life.
The seventh eco-congregation to achieve a Gold Award were especially commended by assessors for an outstanding contribution in demonstrating practical action taken within the church and involving the local community, through the Gate Church Carbon Saving Project and various Climate Challenge Fund resourced initiatives since 2013.
One of the projects which was particularly praised by the assessors was their innovative Community Fridge in Perth Road opposite the church buildings which has a major impact in reducing Food Waste in Dundee. They were delighted to hear the project is using an electric van to pick up excess food from suppliers for the fridge.
We really appreciated their contribution to our recent ‘Feeding our Communities‘ event and the example they offered that can be followed across the country. This took place during Scotland’s Climate Week (14th–20th September 2020) when organisations aim to promote the message that, together, we can help end Scotland’s contribution to climate change.
The Carbon Saving Project aims to make Gate Church International the ‘Greenest Church in Scotland’.
The assessors noted the way that Gate Church International includes so many volunteers within their projects, many of whom do not have a church link, and the integration this brings with the community they serve, enriching the church’s mission.
Also of note was the work that has been done to reduce the carbon footprint of the buildings, a 200 years-old Grade A listed church and century-old community centre. The installation of solar panels, condensing boilers, draught proofing and insulation offers a wonderful example of what can be done in listed buildings and halls like theirs.
The assessors were impressed with the fact that reuse, recycling & up-cycling was well established culturally within the congregation, with lots of examples of best practice. They liked the Sew and Repair classes the church occasionally runs, alongside their Community Wardrobe, as well as the Gift Boxes which help meet material poverty in the city.
The assessors also commended the house groups that meet across the area and discuss environmental matters. They really appreciated the focus on stewardship as a church, and the church focus that worshipping God means caring for those in need and the world God created.
Also of note are the links the church has with Signpost International and Compassion UK, and the support they give for international small projects through their personal connections. The children in the congregation have been encouraged to sponsor children in the developing world through Compassion UK.
News of the Gold Award was confirmed days before the 2020 Climate Challenge Fund Gathering. Gate Church Carbon Saving Project and the church’s volunteers have regularly been highlighted at the yearly event celebrating climate projects across Scotland.Continue reading →
This video shows how Gate Church International in Dundee has reduced its own carbon footprint by 1000 tons and helped the local community reduce theirs too. This is partly due to support from the Climate Challenge Fund – which all churches can apply to.
Download the written case study here.