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 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
Christian environmental and development groups welcome General Assembly decision
Christian environmental and development charities Christian Aid, Eco-Congregation Scotland and Operation Noah joyfully welcome the decision of the Church of Scotland to set a 2030 net zero target.
At the Church of Scotland 2020 General Assembly on Saturday, the Church’s Faith Impact Forum brought a proposal to the General Assembly ‘for the Church to transition both locally and nationally to net zero carbon emissions by 2030’.
General Assembly Commissioners voted to support an amendment from Rev Jenny Adams, Minister of Duffus, Spynie and Hopeman Parish Church.
The amended motion passed by General Assembly reads: ‘Instruct the Faith Impact Forum to work with others to develop a strategy for the Church to transition both locally and nationally to net zero carbon emissions by 2030, reporting an outline strategy to General Assembly 2021.’
We are delighted that one of our key partner Churches has committed to transitioning to net zero in the next 10 years.
Mary Sweetland, Chair of Eco-Congregation Scotland
The decision to set a 2030 net zero target is especially significant as Glasgow prepares to host the UN climate talks, COP26, in November 2021.
In her speech to the General Assembly, Rev Jenny Adams said: ‘This is a climate emergency and the next 10 years are crucial. I hope that by working with others within and beyond the Church, we will be able to get going on this difficult but vital transition, for the sake of all creation.’
Commissioners at the General Assembly also voted in favour of a motion on fossil fuel divestment proposed by Seonaid Knox. This motion called on the Church’s Faith Impact Forum to ‘report to the 2021 General Assembly on the ethical, scientific and theological arguments for and against urgent disinvestment from oil and gas companies’.
The Church of England voted to set a 2030 net zero target earlier this year. Many local authorities have also made this pledge, including the City Councils of Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Christian Aid, Eco-Congregation Scotland and Operation Noah applauded the decision to set a 2030 net zero target. They said that the Church of Scotland now needs to end its investments in fossil fuel companies in order to demonstrate climate leadership ahead of the crucial COP26 climate summit.
Sally Foster-Fulton, Head of Christian Aid Scotland, said: ‘The communities with which Christian Aid works, in many of the poorest parts of the world, are calling for urgent leadership on climate change, and this decision from the Church of Scotland demonstrates that leadership. We welcome it warmly, and look forward to working in partnership with the Church of Scotland to help realise these ambitious new goals. One of the steps that the Church could take in the short-term is to commit to end its investments in fossil fuel companies, and we hope that is part of the plans brought forward in 2021.’
Mary Sweetland, Chair of Eco-Congregation Scotland, said: ‘We are delighted that one of our key partner Churches has committed to transitioning to net zero in the next 10 years.’
James Buchanan, Bright Now Campaign Manager at Operation Noah, said: ‘It is wonderful news that the Church of Scotland has set a target of reaching net zero emissions by 2030. In order to demonstrate leadership on the climate crisis ahead of the UN climate talks in Glasgow next year, it is vital that the Church of Scotland supports a just and green recovery from Covid-19 by divesting from fossil fuel companies and investing in the clean technologies of the future.’
1. Operation Noah is a Christian charity working with the Church to inspire action on the climate crisis. It works with all Christian denominations. http://operationnoah.org/
2. Christian Aid holds a vision of a better world, free from poverty and climate change. For over ten years, Christian Aid Scotland has been campaigning for the UK and Scottish Governments to take climate change seriously for the benefit of those who are impacted first and worst by its effects. https://www.christianaid.org.uk/
3. Eco-Congregation Scotland is a movement of Scottish church congregations, of all denominations and none, committed to addressing environmental issues through their life and mission. https://www.ecocongregationscotland.org/