Dundee church is seventh to achieve an Eco-Congregation 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.