Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Environment & Climate Change visits Carlops Eco-Congregation

On Thursday 17th January, Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Scottish Government Minister for Environment and Climate Change, visited Carlops church to present an Eco-Congregation Scotland award to the congregation.

Paul Wheelhouse MSP and Nan Buchan

After speaking with members of the award winning Carlops Church plus representatives from other inspiring local Eco-Congregations Mr Wheelhouse, said, “As recent weather events have shown, climate change is becoming an ever more urgent issue. We all need to take action if we are to tackle climate change and move to a low carbon, more sustainable Scotland. And that’s exactly what our Eco-Congregations are doing – I was delighted to present Carlops Church with their 3 rd Eco-Award – this is an amazing achievement and well deserved recognition of all their hard work in helping to protect the environment.”

Carlops Church won a third award for its environmental work. The church won the independently assessed award for three core reasons.

  • Firstly, it has developed strong relationships with people living in the parish, both church members and is an outstanding example of community engagement. An example of the strong links was demonstrated through the Carlops Kitchen project raising money for Mary’s Meals.
  • Secondly, the support that Carlops church has shown for other churches by leading the Esk and Tweed network and by supporting national events was a crucial requirement for the third award and members had clearly made an impressive contribution.
  • Finally, the group’s passion for the work has been matched by a thoughtful and considered approach. This combination has led to effective action and is a model of good practice for other congregations to follow.

Award assessors, Adrian Shaw, Climate Change Officer at The Church of Scotland and Alison Boyes, of Dunscore Parish Church and a Director of Eco-Congregation Scotland, commented,

“When awarding the prestigious Eco-Congregation Scotland award, it is normal for assessors to suggest new ideas for congregations at assessment meetings but in this case we were moved to just say ‘Keep calm and carry on’ such was the professionalism and passion of the work we found at Carlops.”

Eco-Congregation Scotland is an ecumenical charity, which helps congregations link environmental issues to their faith and to take action in their church and local community. There are nearly 300 Eco-Congregations in Scotland. In addition to providing support and advice on environmental issues and providing an environmental audit of the church, Eco-Congregation Scotland offers a programme to enthuse and equip churches to weave environmental issues into their life and mission in an enjoyable and stimulating way.