Orkney Network

This is the latest news from the Orkney Eco-Congregation network.


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  • Westray Parish Church Gold Award.

    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 church and two of the wind turbines.

    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.

    Westray Fairtrade display

    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.

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  • Scapa Flow microplastics levels ‘similar to Forth and Clyde’


    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 →
  • Orkney Food Waste Prevention Week, 22-26 January

    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 →
  • Welcome Stromness Parish Church

    Join us in welcoming our latest registration, Stromness Church of Scotland Parish Church, who signed up as our most recent Eco-Congregation! Here’s where they are!

    We look forward to hearing what they get up to in 2017!

    Continue reading →
  • Shapinsay Church gain Eco-Congregation Award.

    (Left to right) Mark Kirkbride (Eco-congregation), Kenny Meason (Session Clerk Shapinsay), Revd. Julia Meason (Minister), Caroline Bird (Church Secretary)

    (Left to right) Mark Kirkbride (Eco-congregation), Kenny Meason (Session Clerk Shapinsay), Revd. Julia Meason (Minister), Caroline Bird (Church Secretary)

    On Sunday 24th July members of Shapinsay Church were awarded their first Eco award by Orkney resident Mark Kirkbride, a trustee of Eco-congregation Scotland. Mark commented:

    “This award is in recognition of the significant steps that members of Shapinsay church have taken to reduce their carbon footprint and working with the Shapinsay school on environmental activity. It is very well deserved. I am most impressed by the commitment of all the congregation to Eco activities and including installation of air source heating and taking a significant part in Shapinsay’s ‘Bag the Bruck’ in collaboration with local people. The minister even drives an electric car!”

    Receiving the award during a joint Sunday morning service with members from the Peedie Kirk, minister Revd Julia Meason said “I was delighted to receive the first eco-congregation award today on behalf of the Shapinsay Church of Scotland. Over the last year we’ve worked on a number of areas of our congregational life and witness and are very pleased with our achievement. We’re a small congregation but we do want to do our bit for God’s creation. It is an important part of who we are as Christians.”


    Picture shows (Left to right) Mark Kirkbride (Eco-congregation), Kenny Meason (Session Clerk Shapinsay), Revd. Julia Meason (Minister), Caroline Bird (Church Secretary)

    Continue reading →
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More information

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:

Alan Grant
Fairways House, Fairways Business Park, Inverness, IV2 6AA | T 01463 259 707 | E alan.grant@hi.energysavingscotland.org.uk

Customer advice line: 0800 512 012 (Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway only)