Tag Archives: Energy

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/


Gold Award for Gate Church International

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.

Dundee West End Community Fridge

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.

Clothes Swap in Gate Church International

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.

Open event encouraging views on Just Transition for housing

Just Transition Commission and Church groups team up to plan a socially inclusive path to net-zero for Scotland’s housing

Scotland’s Just Transition Commission, established to make recommendations to ministers on how Scotland can transition to a net-zero economy by 2045 in a way that is fair for all, has teamed up with the Methodist Church in Scotland and Eco-Congregation Scotland to host an online event on Saturday 17 October 2020, from 10am until 12.30pm.

Scotland’s ambitious climate change targets will require the housing sector to radically transform itself at a pace previously unseen. Making homes more energy efficient and heated from low carbon sources presents an opportunity to improve the quality of our housing stock, tackle fuel poverty and create jobs. Concerns have also been raised about how this is paid for, and whether the shift to net-zero in the housing sector could risk sliding more households into fuel poverty.

We have to find ways of meeting our climate targets which make lives better not worse for the least well off in our society.

Attendees to the open online discussion will hear speakers from the Just Transition Commission, Warmworks, Scottish Federation of Housing AssociationsExisting Homes Alliance Scotland and Power Circle who will share their thoughts on how we can combine meeting our climate targets with improving energy affordability and lowering fuel poverty. Discussion will then open up to all participants, able to contribute their own ideas on how Scotland can reach net-zero emissions in housing.

Just Transition Commissioner, Norrie Kerr says: “We need to put an end to fuel poverty with bold action to make people’s homes warmer and cheaper to heat. Equity considerations must be central to climate action, if we are to make the transition to net-zero in a way that improves the lives of the most vulnerable. This event will provide an opportunity to hear from experts and ordinary people on these issues and contribute ideas on how Scotland can achieve this.”

Rev Mark Slaney, Chair of the Methodist Church in Scotland, who will be chairing the event, said: “We have to find ways of meeting our climate targets which make lives better not worse for the least well off in our society. I look forward to an imaginative and stimulating discussion which will contribute both to the work of the Commission and to Scotland’s preparation for the COP26 climate summit next year.”

There is still time to register for this free event, pre-registration is highly recommended. Further information and registration can be found here: 

This event has been arranged by Stirling Methodist Church and Eco-Congregation Scotland, in collaboration with the Just Transition Commission.

Presentations will focus on the key challenge: how do we combine meeting our climate targets with improving energy affordability and lowering fuel poverty?


Adrian Shaw, Church of Scotland climate change officer, will also outline how churches can meet the opportunities and challenges presented by Glasgow hosting the COP26 United Nations climate talks being held in November 2021.

Eco-Congregation Scotland will be encouraging all Scottish churches to become more focused on addressing the climate crisis over the coming year. Eco-Congregation Scotland is an ecumenical environmental charity supporting over 500 local churches of all denominations across Scotland, committed to environmental activities in their life and mission, with Stirling Methodist Church one of the most active eco-congregations.