This is the latest news from the Orkney Eco-Congregation network.
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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.
Westray Parish Church on the island of Westray in the Orkney Isles has become the 5th congregation to gain an Eco-Congregation Scotland Gold Award.
Westray Parish Church had applied for a silver award. However when the assessors visited them they realised that the work being done by the congregation far exceeded that standard and decided that they should be given their Gold Award. The congregation have been especially commended by the assessors for the way the church has been leading the community through involvement in island wide energy projects such as installing a community owned wind turbine and a project with Lottery and Scottish Government grant funding which worked to identify the 9 houses on Westray most severely affected by fuel poverty and energy inefficency. The project took them out of fuel poverty by installing ground source heat pumps, double glazing, extra insulation and draft proofing in each home. The activity of Fair Trade Group, under the Chairmanship of the minister resulted in Westray being recognised as a Fair Trade island in 2007.
The award assessors noted the great connections that the church has with their local community and their commitment to Eco-Congregation Scotland which now spans over 20 years. They were impressed with the legacy fund that the congregation have made available to other Orkney Parish Churches. This fund has allowed other churches to proceed with their own eco work. The assessors said that Westray Parish Church is a case study of how to do it. Amazing and inspirational!
Westray Parish Eco-Congregation co-ordinator Alasdair McVicar said: “This should be a source of great pride for the congregation and it’s very fine to have good news during these strange times but we know it’s an ongoing commitment and we welcome that”.
Parish Minister, Iain MacDonald added: “It’s lovely to have something to celebrate collectively but these awards should never be seen as something to stick on the wall so we can sit back and admire them but as an incentive to us all to maintain the high standards and to build on them”.
Well done Westray! A well deserved Gold Award.Continue reading →
From the BBC:
Scientists have found levels of microplastic pollution on beaches around Scapa Flow in Orkney are similar to those in industrialised areas like the Forth and Clyde.
Researchers at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh took more than 100 sediment samples from 13 beaches on Hoy and the Orkney mainland.
Some plastic is believed to come from clothes which contain polymer fibres.
These are not caught by washing machine filters or at treatment works.
The micro-particles are thought to have been blown up the east coast.
Read the full article here.Continue reading →
Resource Efficient Scotland have teamed up with Orkney Islands Council, Orkney Zero Waste and Orkney Food and Drink to help businesses in Orkney reduce food waste, boost profits and do their bit for the environment and local community.
Orkney Food Waste Prevention Week includes a food waste prevention training workshop, a ‘Love Your Haggis’ cooking demonstration, a webinar on how to redistribute food surplus to the local community and inhouse training to help you help your staff save an average of £460 a year.
All the events are free. If your business is based in Orkney, book your place today.
For further information and booking click here.Continue reading →
If you wish to contact the Energy Saving Trust Alan Grant, the Community Liaison Officer, may be a helpful place to start. His contact details are:
Fairways House, Fairways Business Park, Inverness, IV2 6AA | T 01463 259 707 | E firstname.lastname@example.org
Customer advice line: 0800 512 012 (Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway only)