Tag Archives: Climate Emergency

2023 Annual Gathering and AGM: Tackling the climate, cost of living and energy crises




We are delighted to hold this year’s Annual Gathering on Saturday 22nd April 2023 hosted by Livingston United Parish Church.

The Annual Gathering is free and open to all, taking place as a blended, hybrid experience with both physical in-person and virtual online attendance available for participants. Main venue events will be open to all attendees, while optional afternoon workshops and seminars will either be in Livingston or online.

Eco-Congregation Scotland 2023 Annual Gathering
Saturday 22nd April 2023 10.30am – 4.00pm (doors open 10.00am)
Livingston United Parish Church, Nether Dechmont Community Centre, Fells Rigg, Deans, Livingston EH54 8AX
and online through Zoom – please register below

The Annual General Meeting is scheduled from 1.15pm to 1.45pm.

Our 2023 Annual Gathering theme focuses on tackling the crises we face this year – climate emergency, cost of living and energy – bringing together volunteers from across Scotland. This also takes place on Earth Day 2023 which has “Invest In Our Planet” as its theme which we will link our discussions to.

Often the focus is on immediate need, with churches providing urgent support for those facing the brunt of the cost of living and energy crises. However, we know the answer to these must be part of addressing the pressing challenges of the climate emergency. We are looking to highlight the crises and help provide practical options for response in our communities, along with opportunities to campaign for a just, green nation in a fairer world.

Most of Scotland’s churches, of different sizes and denominations throughout the country, are committing to Net Zero carbon emissions this decade and are active in encouraging action in their local communities, through volunteers motivated by climate justice to address the worst impact of climate change often on the poorest.

The full agenda will be updated here regularly:


10.00am   Doors Open

10.30am   Welcome – Marjory McGhie, on behalf of hosts Livingston United Parish Church (LUPC) and its work as a Silver Award-winning eco-congregation

10.35am   Setting the scene – Christine Thomson of Craiglockhart Parish Church tells the story of our Stitches For Survival backdrop, craftivism still helping those in need

10.40am   Earth Day 2023 – We join over 1 billion people today, with a message from Earth Day network president Kathleen Rogers.

10.42am   Tackling the climate, cost of living and energy crises – Invest in our planet
Chaired by John Seenan, Eco-Congregation Scotland deputy chair of board of trustees and St Joseph’s Parish, Clarkston

Keynote speaker: Dr Lorna Gold – Director of Movement Building, FaithInvest and Laudato Si’ Movement chair

Guest speaker: Emma Jackson – National Director Scotland, Christians Against Poverty

11.30am   Question and Answer Session with Panel

12.15pm   Lunch – free for all attendees onsite at The Barn Community Cafe run by LUPC. Please provide any dietary requirements in the registration form below.


1. Welcome – Richard Murray, Eco-Congregation Scotland chairperson
2. Apologies for absence
3. Approval of minutes from 2022 AGM
4. Chairperson’s Report on the activities of Eco-Congregation Scotland
5. Any Questions?
6. Annual Accounts and Financial Report – Mary Sweetland, Treasurer
7. Appointment of Independent Examiner
8. Election/re-election of Trustees
9. Any other competent business

While only Full Members can vote at the AGM, it remains open to all as part of our Annual Gathering and anyone can attend the AGM to hear more about the work of the charity from our trustees.
If you are unable to attend the AGM as the named Full Member, but wish to appoint someone else as your Proxy to take part on your behalf for your church, this can be selected at the foot of the registration form – or you can email this information directly if easier.
Full Members are named individuals who represent a registered eco-congregation and pay a fee, depending on church income, ringfenced to support our Programme Coordinator staff and related local church or regional Network activities.

1.45pm   Workshop 1              

2.35pm   Workshop 2

Workshop and seminar options are chosen by participants at 1.45pm and 2.35pm, including:

Net Zero Churches: What does it mean and what can you do?
Hear from James Anthony, our Net Zero Coordinator. James was previously Gate Church International operations director leading development of Gate Church Carbon Saving Project and coordinator of Climate Sunday, an initiative of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland. (1.45pm only)

Talking Climate Justice: How your church can get involved
Lucy Le Roux, Christian Aid Scotland Campaigns and Advocacy Coordinator will encourage you to get active with Talking Climate JusticeLetters for Creation and the Loss and Damage Campaign.

Ditching the Basket: Being the light that shines! – Church in Climate Crisis
Rev David Coleman, our ecumenical EcoChaplain with a hybrid seminar. Eco-Congregation Scotland is delighted that the United Reformed Church is generously extending this special category ministry for a further five years.

Drop-in café: Information from Eco-Congregation staff and partner organisations
As an alternative to workshops and seminars, drop into The Barn Community Cafe for tea/coffee, an informal one-to-one chat with Eco-Congregation Scotland staff and information stalls from partner organisations.

3.25pm  Closing remarks and thanks
Richard Murray, Eco-Congregation Scotland chairperson of board of trustees and All Saints’ Church, Whiterashes, Aberdeenshire

3.30pm   Closing Worship – Rev David Coleman, Eco-Chaplain

4.00pm   Ends

We encourage attendees to use public transport where possible and practicable, with the venue 10 minutes walk from Livingston North rail station. If you are travelling by car, there is adequate parking next to LUPC, with thanks to neighbouring Livingston Elim Pentecostal Church providing its car park in support. We look forward to welcoming you in Livingston or online.

While the Annual Gathering is a free event, please consider supporting our work with a donation: https://www.ecocongregationscotland.org/contact-details/one-off-donation-2/


Coasts and Seas

Let’s talk about the climate emergency

Let’s talk about the climate emergency – Coasts and Seas
Monday 29th March 2021
7.30pm – 8.30pm


As Scotland comes into the spotlight hosting COP26 – the United Nations climate talks due in Glasgow this November – we are calling on all Scotland’s churches to join the conversation and take action on the climate emergency.

One of the most powerful ways we can encourage change is in talking, listening and telling our stories. Eco-Congregation Scotland has produced “Let’s talk about the climate emergency“, monthly themed resources to help congregations take part in awareness raising conversations about the climate emergency, encouraging everyone to take action.

Throughout March our theme has been Coasts and Seas. Scotland has a beautiful coastline, but marine pollution is now noticeable all along our coasts and in our rivers. Plastic bottles, cigarette butts, cotton buds, crisp bags and sanitary applicators form the top five pollutants found on beaches. Much of this waste enters the food chain.

Fishing is still an important part of the economy and identity of many coastal communities. However, it is not without controversy. Climate change will bring sea-level rises and more extreme weather, which will affect vulnerable parts of Scotland’s coasts and threaten the very existence of some nations and communities across the world.

Join us on Zoom, to talk and reflect on Coasts and Seas – you can download the two March pages on this link, or the full year of “Let’s talk about the climate emergency” resources. Breakout discussions will ensure all taking part in small groups. Now and in coming months – let’s talk about the climate emergency.


For all working in the marine environment, for the protection of the marine environment by all people and by politicians, for all communities and nations affected by increasing sea levels due to climate change.

you walked on the shore of Lake Galilee,
at a threshold of land and water.

You loved those who worked at that threshold,
calling them to come,
forgiving them their mistakes,
and sending them to share your love.

Rev Jenny Adams
Duffus, Spynie and Hopeman Church minister
Eco-Congregation Scotland trustee

Church Heating

Church Heating – Practical Considerations

Net Zero

Monday 15th February 2021

How do you heat your church?

Church buildings come in lots of different shapes and sizes, historic and modern. How will you know which kind of heating is right for your building? What are the practical issues that need to be thought through in changing a heating systems? What kind of heating system should you install in a new building?

What do you need to change to achieve net zero emissions? 

Responding to the Climate Emergency, the October 2020 General Assembly of the Church of Scotland agreed to develop a strategy for the entire organisation to transition both locally and nationally to net zero carbon emissions over the coming decade.

In December 2020, General Synod members of the Scottish Episcopal Church also backed a motion paving the way for a commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

Register now

Join us and hear from Andrew MacOwan – Chartered Energy Engineer and the Church of Scotland General Trustees Heating Consultant – as he shares his experience and talks about some of the practical considerations in looking to achieve net zero carbon emissions from church heating systems. There will be time for questions and discussion. Please register at the following link: 


Climate change impact

Christian Aid Gathering

Tuesday 16th February 2021
Email to register

Christian Aid Scotland is a key partner of Eco-Congregation Scotland and we are delighted to encourage you to join the Supporter Gathering next week. Christian Aid Ethiopia will be sharing the impact of climate change, locusts and conflict on vulnerable communities.

There will also be a look forward to the COP26 climate talks and how we can all be involved in the fight against climate change. Email to register and receive the joining instructions: edinburgh@christian-aid.org



Join the Lenten Journey

What is the hope of COP26?

Scottish Catholic Laity Network
What is the hope of COP26? – Professor Jim Skea 

Thursday 18th February 2021
Further information
Email to register

Eco-Congregation Scotland is pleased to support the Scottish Catholic Laity Network and invite you to join its Lenten Journey of discernment “to help us imagine the way in which we are being called to prepare a future that gives hope to all the children of our world, and their children’s’ children, and to Mother Earth.”

Opening the series on the hope of COP26, Eco-Congregation volunteer Margret MacPhail will introduce speaker Professor Jim Skea, currently chair of Scotland’s Just Transition Commission and co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group III on mitigation of climate change. Margret leads the Eco-Group at St Ninian’s Parish in Professor Skea’s home city Dundee. Please email slaitynetwork@gmail.com to register.


Worship, reflection, prayer and action

Eco-Chaplain online

Eco-Chaplaincy open for invitations: however and wherever you are this year!

Rev David Coleman continues his work through coronavirus restrictions, engaging imaginatively with local churches as a visiting digital preacher. Please email the Eco-Chaplain to connect and work with your own church on dates throughout this year.

This coming Sunday 14th February at 7pm we encourage our volunteers and supporters to continue joining Christians in prayer across Scotland.

We are also now linking all our resources to Climate Sunday, the initiative hosted by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland encouraging all congregations to:

  • Worship – hold a climate-focused service before the start of September and Creation Time
  • Commit – take action as a local church community, reducing greenhouse gas emissions as an eco-congregation
  • Speak up – call for the UK Government to lead action on the climate crisis, signing the The Time Is Now declaration towards COP26 in Glasgow

Please email for more information or to register your own Climate Sunday service.


Read our new monthly briefing on COP26 and how you can get involved.

Register for free and begin your church’s journey as an eco-congregation. Please consider church membership to become more active in the charity and support our Local Network activities – join online.

Please donate if you can, to help support our work and encourage growing interest across Scotland’s churches. If you or others in your church would like to receive this newsletter regularly, please subscribe.

Our Global Connections

Let’s talk about the climate emergency – Our Global Connections

Let’s talk about the climate emergency – Our Global Connections
Monday 30th November 2020
7.30pm – 8.30pm


As Scotland comes into the spotlight hosting COP26 in November 2021, it becomes imperative that our churches take action on the climate emergency. One of the most powerful ways we can encourage change is in talking, listening and telling our stories.

Eco-Congregation Scotland has produced ‘Let’s talk about the climate emergency‘ – a pack of resources with monthly themes to help congregations hold awareness raising conversations and encourage everyone to act. The November theme is Our Global Connections.

How we live has a direct impact on climate change and the lives of others. The way we choose to travel, the food we eat, the way we heat our homes, our continuing demands for goods and services and the way we deal with the waste produced all have a direct impact on other people.

Certainly the worst of the changes in weather patterns can be seen in other areas of the world producing severe storms and conversely severe droughts leading to famines and other humanitarian crises:

  • Pollution of water courses and air as other countries attempt to recycle our rubbish affecting the health of many people.
  • Effects of global warming on our oceans and on plants and animals threaten the web of life.

Inequalities can be seen too in the ability of countries to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, with less affluent countries struggling to provide basic healthcare, sanitation and access to food.

Matthew 25: 31-46

The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
It’s tough, but this is what we’re faced with. We know what our species is doing. “What you did to the Earth, you did to me!”
You can watch our Eco-Chaplain Rev David Coleman reading and reflecting on this passage, also sharing how Pastor Martin may have differentiated sheep and goats…

In this month where leaders from many countries across the globe were to have converged on Glasgow for COP26 to consider how best to address the issue of climate change and agree a way forward working together, how will we respond to ensure a fairer world for current and future generations?

Conversation Starters:

  • How do you feel when you hear about the effects of climate change on the planet and the effects it has on people’s lives?
  • As Scotland comes to the forefront of international attention, what message would you like the leaders to take home to their country about what is happening in this country?
  • Is it easy to adopt the kinds of changes that experts suggest we need to if we are to reduce our impact on the world’s climate?
  • What makes these easy/ tricky to do? (eg: eating less meat, reducing waste, insulating our homes, using public transport, changing the kinds of energy we use, buying Fairtrade goods)
  • Do you feel differently about any of these changes in the light of the pandemic? How have the views and behaviour of other people changed?

Join us to talk, pray and reflect on Our Global Connections, to help ensure a fairer world for current and future generations. Breakout discussions will ensure all taking part in small groups. Now and in coming months – let’s talk about the climate emergency. Please register here.