We are delighted to announce that Oakshaw Trinity Church, Paisley has been given a Silver Eco Congregation Scotland Award for their environmental work. The assessors noted that the team at Oakshaw Trinity church had presented a strong application for their silver award. They were impressed by the way in which the team arranged their meetings to ensure that the Kirk Session is kept fully appraised of their work. The assessors also commended the discussion about environmental matters within the congregation.
Oakshaw Trinity Church has links with charity shops and various events in the community. There is a Fair trade shop which operates in the church and links with the shop in the town. The congregation also support the Renfrewshire Foodbank. The church also has strong links with Christian Aid and TearFund.
Springwatch and Autumnwatch events are held and encourage all of the congregation to participate in caring for the grounds around the church. The youth organisations like to work with gardeners to care for creation. The services held on these days link the spiritual and the practical, with discussion of environmental matters.
The assessors noted the ways in which environmental messages are communicated within the congregation and to the wider community. Good use is made of notice boards and newsletters. During the Covid time of lockdown and isolation more use has been made of online communication, with hopes that this will continue beyond the pandemic.
The team at Oakshaw Trinity have found a number of ways to share environmental learning with the congregation. They have used pledge cards to encourage members of the congregation to review their lifestyle and carbon footprint. Their Zero Waste events have been successful and will be repeated when the pandemic rules allow. All age groups have been encouraged to participate in projects.
The team have linked with the Fabric Committee and this has resulted in an improved environmental performance of the church buildings. There has been discussion about ethical investment and environmental philosophy within the congregation and these discussions have resulted in changes in investment and activity.
We are delighted to announce that Dunnichen, Letham and Kirkden Church have been awarded their Silver Eco- Congregation Scotland Award. This is the second highest level of award and shows the commitment of the congregation to their work to care for creation.
The assessors specially commended a number of areas of this small congregation’s work. It was noted they had made really effective use of their existing leadership structures to make sure that their Eco work was embedded as a responsibility for each of the smaller groups reporting to the Kirk Session. This structure helped new ideas to be discussed and developed, leading to plans being approved by the Kirk Session and integrated with all aspects of the life of the church.
The assessors praised the good links with community groups in the parish that has led to work on joint projects. This has included asking the local school to help with developing the church grounds. Dunnichen, Letham, Kirkden Church has an established pattern of keeping the community in touch try providing a very valuable Parish Magazine. The congregation also run film nights on an environmental theme. These have generated lots of interest from people in the community.
Our assessors were delighted to hear about interests the church has in learning from and supporting the work of a wide range of charities. The congregation are keen to support and promote Fair Trade goods, encouraging everyone to shop locally, and to reduce food miles.
The congregation have been exploring the journey of recycled goods. The members have also looked at ways to reduce waste and energy use through adapting their lifestyles. They have been running a rag bag scheme to help recycle clothing. Interest and awareness raising in these eco matters has been taken up the children’s and youth groups, and is now an important part of their work.
We wish the congregation well as they continue to develop their care for creation further in years to come.
Dundee’s golden Gate – our ‘outstanding’ seventh Gold Award 🥇
Today’s newsletter shares the exciting news of our seventh Gold Award recipient and encourages volunteers to register for the Climate Challenge Fund annual gathering and film night discussion. Great photo courtesy of Gate Church International of solar panels on the community centre immediately behind the church building.
Dundee church is seventh to achieve an Eco-Congregation Gold Award
Eco-Congregation Scotland warmly congratulates Gate Church International in Dundee, celebrating the wonderful news that they have achieved our Gold Award.
This means that they have met or exceeded Eco-Congregation’s Gold Award standards in spiritual living, practical living and global living, while also addressing some more general aspects of environmental care. As our most challenging Award, a successful Gold assessment recognises congregations which have developed a long-term commitment to promoting environmental issues as an integral part of their congregational life.
The seventh eco-congregation to achieve a Gold Award were especially commended by assessors for an outstanding contribution in demonstrating practical action taken within the church and involving the local community, through the Gate Church Carbon Saving Project and various Climate Challenge Fund resourced initiatives since 2013.
One of the projects which was particularly praised by the assessors was their innovative Community Fridge in Perth Road opposite the church buildings which has a major impact in reducing Food Waste in Dundee. They were delighted to hear the project is using an electric van to pick up excess food from suppliers for the fridge.
We really appreciated their contribution to our recent ‘Feeding our Communities‘ event and the example they offered that can be followed across the country. This took place during Scotland’s Climate Week (14th–20th September 2020) when organisations aim to promote the message that, together, we can help end Scotland’s contribution to climate change.
The Carbon Saving Project aims to make Gate Church International the ‘Greenest Church in Scotland’.
The assessors noted the way that Gate Church International includes so many volunteers within their projects, many of whom do not have a church link, and the integration this brings with the community they serve, enriching the church’s mission.
Also of note was the work that has been done to reduce the carbon footprint of the buildings, a 200 years-old Grade A listed church and century-old community centre. The installation of solar panels, condensing boilers, draught proofing and insulation offers a wonderful example of what can be done in listed buildings and halls like theirs.
The assessors were impressed with the fact that reuse, recycling & up-cycling was well established culturally within the congregation, with lots of examples of best practice. They liked the Sew and Repair classes the church occasionally runs, alongside their Community Wardrobe, as well as the Gift Boxes which help meet material poverty in the city.
The assessors also commended the house groups that meet across the area and discuss environmental matters. They really appreciated the focus on stewardship as a church, and the church focus that worshipping God means caring for those in need and the world God created.
Also of note are the links the church has with Signpost International and Compassion UK, and the support they give for international small projects through their personal connections. The children in the congregation have been encouraged to sponsor children in the developing world through Compassion UK.
News of the Gold Award was confirmed days before the 2020 Climate Challenge Fund Gathering. Gate Church Carbon Saving Project and the church’s volunteers have regularly been highlighted at the yearly event celebrating climate projects across Scotland.
We appreciate this is a challenging time for many across all churches and communities due to COVID-19 restrictions. We are delighted to share good news over coming weeks from local eco-congregations, this weekend celebrating Eco-Congregation Scotland Award success in Aberdeenshire.
We value the excellent participation of so many volunteers and supporters in recent interfaith events and a range of meetings as we look forward to welcoming the COP26 climate conference to Scotland next November. We invite you to join a wide variety of online events and activities through the remainder of this November.
Thank you for all your efforts and continuing support as we pray, share and act together, caring for our common home.
Today we acknowledge the wonderful work of Inverurie West Parish Church. Congratulations to enthusiastic environmental team leader Joy Doorghen and all at Inverurie West on achieving our Silver Award recognising their commitment to caring for creation. You can read more about their Silver success on our website.
We will share more Award success stories in coming weeks and encourage every eco-congregation to apply, affirming your church’s environmental activities through online assessment. You are also welcome to join Inverurie West and our Eco-Chaplain this Sunday for a live at home service on the Church website and YouTube.
Many Christians mark this Sunday as the feast of Christ the King. Eco-Chaplain Rev David Coleman will be reflecting on Matthew 25:31-46: “A masterpiece of ‘end-time’ writing, the ‘sheep and the goats’ is perfectly directed at those who look to God for hope in a time of global crisis.”
Just Transition Commission members will share some of the emerging themes from their work to date, ahead of delivering their final recommendations to Scottish Ministers in early 2021. This will be your opportunity to explore and discuss their findings, and the solutions proposed to deliver a just transition in Scotland. The Commission was set up last year to give practical advice on how Scotland can meet ambitious climate change targets in a way that is fair for all.
The Climate Challenge Fund Gathering provides opportunities to learn, network and share experience on tackling climate change, bringing together over 200 CCF Grant recipients and local community-led groups including churches and faith projects. The evening will explore how community film nights can get people thinking about climate change, followed by the opportunity to watch and discuss a challenging film. Find out more and book Gathering and film tickets here.
This Sunday 22nd November, please join us and Christians across Scotland in prayer at 7.00pm.
Good Shepherd, Speak once more to our hearts And offer us vision and hope for days to come. Go before us Shepherd King And lead us into the future that you hold in your hands. Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us
We are delighted to announce that Inverurie West Parish Church has achieved an Eco-Congregation Scotland Silver Award in recognition of their work and commitment to caring for creation.
The Silver award affirms that a congregation met or exceeded Eco-Congregation Scotland’s more demanding standards in aspects of spiritual, practical and global living, requiring an active participation by members, care for creation to be reflected regularly in worship and an involvement in Local Network events.
Inverurie West Church is a vibrant organisation, serving the local community as a place to meet and have a hot drink, snack or lunch; a real centre for bringing the community together.
Inverurie West Parish Church congregation, has been especially recommended by our Award assessors for:
Provision of the Acorn Centre meeting place, with excellent food and a good atmosphere that contributes to the welcoming spirit of the church.
Continued emphasis on monetary collections and activities for less well-off sections of the community, both local and abroad, emphasising the caring ethos of the church and sense of a global community.
The enthusiasm of Joy Doorghen and her environmental team to keep the environment central to the church activities.
The Ubuntu Fairtrade shop which is delightful and to be commended.
A certificate and Silver plate for the Church’s Award plaque are now winging their way up to Inverurie West. Well done Joy and all the team!
A Silver award is achievable by an eco-congregation which is taking its responsibility to care for creation seriously. To achieve Silver, the congregation must show that they meet – or have taken significant steps towards meeting – all of the criteria for that level listed below in each of four broad areas:
General Aspects a) Evaluation and planning b) Initiating and coordinating c) Communication d) Eco-Congregation Scotland Involvement
Spiritual Living a) Discussing Ideas b) Worship and Congregational Life
Practical Living a) Individual Members Taking Action b) Action in Church Buildings c) Biodiversity, Wildlife, Grounds and Gardens
Global Living a) Local and National Concerns b) Global and International Concerns