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The climate challenge fund has opened for new applications

Full information and application forms are available on the Keep Scotland Beautiful website.

From looking at previous successful applications it appears that those most likely to succeed had one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Considerable community use of the buildings.
  • Involvement of other community groups or more than one local church in the project.
  • Where a separate charity for community projects had been set up by the local congregation.

The application deadline is 14th February. This is not long, but there may be eco-congregations with projects already in development who would like to apply. Good luck!

Second award for St Matthew’s Church Perth!

St Matthew’s Church Perth achieved their second Eco-Congregation Award! Congratulations!

The assessors particularly commended the congregation for the following:

  • Maintaining and developing a very active Eco Congregation programme in the church for a number of years – it’s not easy to keep going!
  • The very thoughtful and creative services that they have led on the theme;
  • Keeping the message going out to the congregation through weekly advice, monthly articles in the church magazine year after year and by using the notice board;
  • Undertaking a carbon footprint, which will now be used to consider how to act to reduce this as part of the proposed sanctuary refurbishment;
  • The very active support of their members to the local Eco-Congregation network group in Perth;
  • The recent work on the church garden, which is very impressive;
  • The ‘Branching Out’ initiative in 2005 which was a very imaginative response to sharing the environmental message with fellow churches and
  • The commitment and leadership shown by Morag Green and her colleagues.

Well done!

Cancun: Joined faith leaders sign letter to David Cameron

A letter on climate change has been signed by four senior religious leaders in Scotland.

Scotland’s religious leaders have described the West’s failure to help developing nations cope with climate change as a “moral outrage”.

Senior members of the country’s Christian and Islamic communities outlined their position in a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron. They urged the UK government to do all it could to ensure progress was made at the UN climate change conference.

The summit opened in Cancun, Mexico, last Monday.

The letter to Mr Cameron has been signed by the Moderator of the Church of Scotland’s General Assembly, John Christie, the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, David Chillingworth, and Shaykh Ruzwan, a senior figure in the Islamic community.

It highlights disappointment at the outcome of last year’s UN climate change conference in Copenhagen and says every day that passes sees lives “affected and even lost”.
Scotland’s climate change minister, Stewart Stevenson, will be part of the UK delegation at Cancun. He has said he will use the opportunity to call for the international community to be more ambitious in its efforts to tackle climate change, and will argue that the transition to a low carbon economy is sensible, sustainable and ultimately unavoidable.
However, the Mexican government has already warned it is unlikely that a comprehensive deal will be secured in Cancun.

Eco-Congregation Scotland appoints a Manager!

Gordon HudsonGordon Hudson has been appointed as the first manager of Eco-Congregation Scotland. The post has been made possible with the generous support of the Scottish Government.

Gordon will be taking on the challenge of growing Eco-Congregation Scotland and helping eco-congregations across Scotland to take action to care for the earth. The number of congregations who have registered as Eco-Congregation has now grown to more than 260 since its launch less that a decade ago. In this short time it has become the largest network of community based environment groups in Scotland. Fund raising and building up a membership and supporters scheme will be priorities for 2011.

Rev. Ewan Aitken, Convener of the Board of Eco-Congregation Scotland said:

“I am delighted to welcome Gordon to this new job. Eco-congregations in Scotland have demonstrated tremendous enthusiasm to make a difference in their churches and in their communities. Gordon brings proven fund raising and managerial skills to support and resource this work. We are particularly pleased that with this support from the Scottish Government we will be able to help congregations respond more effectively to the challenge of climate change.”

Gordon is currently a manager at the Eric Liddell Centre in Edinburgh. He has a background in both business and the voluntary sector and is a Licentiate in Theology from Edinburgh University. He takes up appointment on 13 December 2010 and can then be contacted through the contact form on this site.

St John’s Church Edinburgh gained their second Eco-Congregation award!

Congratulations to St John’s Church Edinburgh on gaining their second Eco-Congregation Award!

The assessors were very impressed with the work displayed by the congregation. They particularly commended the congregation for the following:

  • The Earth Be Glad project that they have developed is of national importance and reflects the work that they and other members of the congregation have invested in the project. By drawing down Climate Challenge Funds to support the project they have demonstrated vision and determination that has resulted in a growing proportion of the congregation becoming involved;
  • The work of the gardening group that have made very good progress in managing the grounds of the Church and making it both more attractive and increasing biodiversity;
  • The development of worship materials, including the special liturgy for Creation Time and the commitment of the clergy at St. John’s to become involved in and support the work.

Well done!