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We would like to invite you to the ECS Annual Gathering 2011!

We would like to invite you to celebrate with us the 10th Anniversary of Eco-Congregation Scotland at the Annual Gathering 2011, which will also include the charity’s first AGM. Please print and display this invitation in your church halls and other appropriate places.

The Gathering will take place on 5th March 2011, 10am – 3.30pm, at Bridge of Allan Parish Church Halls, Keir Street, Bridge of Allan FK9 4QJ.

We are very pleased to welcome Kathy Galloway, Head of Christian Aid Scotland, to preach at the Celebration Service. The programme of the day will focus on ‘Our daily Bread’ and look at issues of sustainable living. As usual, a variety of interesting and challenging workshops will be part of the programme.

Register now to participate in the event, by contacting us at scotland@ecocongregation.org, 0131 240 2274 or 121 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 4YN before 16 February 2011.

While everyone is warmly invited to attend the AGM, only charity members of Eco-Congregation Scotland are able to vote. You can register as member of the charity by filling in this form and sending it back to us.

We look forward to seeing you at the Annual Gathering!

Participate in the Big Garden Birdwatch!

The RSPB invites you to take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch at the end of January – it’s such an easy family friendly project that everyone can get involved in. They would ask you to watch the birds in your garden for an hour over the weekend of the 29-30 January, and then to tell them what you see. They would be happy to send you a survey form, or you can take part online.

They are also looking for a group of participants who wouldn’t mind being filmed while taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch for TV. If this is something that you would like to be involved in, please call Louise, the RSPB’s Media Officer, on 0131 317 4136.

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.