Tag Archives: Scottish Episcopal Church

Anglican Communion Webinar: COP26, Divestment and Investment for Climate Justice

An overview of how Churches in the Anglican Communion can act for climate justice ahead of COP26 through divestment and investment

Across the Anglican Communion, Churches are supporting a just and green recovery by divesting from fossil fuels and investing in clean alternatives.

The Anglican Church of Southern Africa, the Church of Ireland and the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia have divested from fossil fuels. The Church in Wales and Scottish Episcopal Church are set to debate divestment at Governing Body meetings in the coming months. There have also been calls for the Church of England to accelerate divestment from fossil fuels, following the motion on divestment passed at General Synod in 2018.

Join this interactive webinar to hear from inspiring leaders across the Anglican Communion, who will share their insights about the steps that Churches need to take on divestment and investment ahead of COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021.

The webinar will provide an excellent opportunity to find out how you can get involved in campaigning for divestment in your local church, diocese and at a national level.

We are delighted to welcome the following speakers:

Keynote speaker: Rt Revd Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford: Fossil fuel divestment, positive investment and the urgent need for a just and green recovery from Covid-19

Revd Dr Rachel Mash, Environmental Coordinator of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa and Secretary to the Anglican Communion Environmental Network: The theological underpinnings of divestment

Revd Jacynthia Murphy, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia: The impact of the climate crisis in the Pacific Islands and decision of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia to divest

Very Revd John Conway, Provost of St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh: How eco-congregation St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral divested from fossil fuels and what needs to happen now in the Scottish Episcopal Church

Revd Stuart Elliott, Vicar of Betws-y-Coed Parish Church and Member of Church in Wales’ Environment Group and Ethical Investment Group: Fossil fuel divestment in the Church in Wales and investment in climate solutions

Stephen Trew, Member of the Church of Ireland General Synod: The Church of Ireland divestment journey

James Buchanan, Bright Now Campaign Manager at Operation Noah: Key findings of the report Church investments in major oil companies: Paris compliant or Paris defiant?

It will provide an opportunity to find out more about how your Church, Diocese or Province can join the next global divestment announcement for faith institutions on 17 May 2021.

The webinar is organised by the Anglican Communion Environmental Network, Operation Noah, Christian Aid, Tearfund and Eco-congregation Scotland.

Carbon Cutter or Climate Marcher? Personal and Political Action on Climate Change

 

To help us all navigate the key issue of our time, St Columba’s-by-the-Castle is hosting  Change in a Time of Chaos . This series of online talks focussed on climate change takes place in the run up to
COP26 in November 2021. Speakers from a variety of disciplines will join us to stimulate thought, discussion—and change—as we consider the most urgent issue facing our planet.

Third Lecture

Wednesday 3 March 2021
7.30-8.30pm

Dr Rachel Howell, Lecturer in Sustainable Development at the University of Edinburgh

Carbon Cutter or Climate Marcher?

Personal and Political Action on Climate Change

A large majority of people in Scotland (79%) think climate change is an “immediate and urgent problem” (Ipsos MORI survey, October 2020). Why doesn’t that concern translate into more action? If we want to take action, what’s going to make the biggest difference? Is it best to focus on political change, or personal behaviour change? Can an individual have any effect? And what about the current situation: has Covid actually been good news for the environment/climate
change? These are some of the questions Rachel Howell will consider. There will also be plenty of time for you to contribute your own questions and thoughts.

Please register and invite others within your networks. Further lectures still to come in Change in a Time of Chaos throughout 2021.

Registration Link: 

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Adrkim5eQ3u93TuNisbuRQ

 

Scottish Churches’ Webinar – COP26, Divestment and Investment in a Just and Green Recovery

Join this webinar to explore how Churches in Scotland can divest from fossil fuels and invest in the just and green recovery ahead of COP26.

As Scotland prepares to host the UN climate talks (COP26) later this year, we have a unique opportunity to make an impact and increase the pressure on institutions and governments to respond with the urgency that the climate crisis demands.

Join this webinar to find out how Churches in Scotland – both locally and nationally – can support a just and green recovery by divesting from fossil fuels and re-orienting investments towards a clean energy future.

We are delighted to welcome the following speakers:

The webinar will be chaired by Fiona Buchanan, Campaigns and Advocacy Coordinator at Christian Aid Scotland.

Around the world, more than 400 faith institutions have divested from fossil fuels, including the World Council of Churches, the United Reformed Church, the Anglican Church of Southern Africa and the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference. Fossil fuel divestment will be on the agenda at this year’s General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church.

We are excited to share that the webinar will see the launch of the Scottish Churches COP26 Pledge on Divestment and the Just and Green Recovery, which can be signed by individuals, churches, regional Church bodies and national Churches.

The webinar is an excellent opportunity to find out more about how your church can join the next global divestment announcement for faith institutions in spring 2021. Join us to find out where your Church denomination currently stands on fossil fuel divestment, and how you can get involved in the campaign.

The webinar series is sponsored by: Eco-Congregation Scotland, Operation Noah, Christian Aid, Justice and Peace Scotland and Friends of the Earth Scotland.

Register today on Eventbrite:

https://scottishchurcheswebinar.eventbrite.co.uk

Net Zero Carbon: Church Heating – Practical Considerations

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 by 2030.

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.

How do you heat your church?

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

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?

Come 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. 

Monday 15th of February 7.30pm on Zoom.

Please complete the form at the foot of the page to register for the link to attend to this event.  

 

The Seabin Project

St Martin of Tours’ Episcopal Church in the Gorgie/Dalry area or Edinburgh has an active Eco-Group keen to share news and encourage support for its Sea Bin Project. Liz Moir writes:

2020 was the Scottish Year of Coasts and Waters which focussed particularly on the inland waters and the seas which surround Scotland. Last June St Martin’s Eco-Congregation group had hoped to visit the Coasts and Waters exhibition at the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther, Fife but travel restrictions prevented this. Still, it gave us food for thought which led to the St Martins Eco-Group considering a project to help combat the increase in plastic waste contaminating our oceans and waters.

One of our group, Stuart Campbell, came up with the idea of funding a Seabin – a device which looks rather like a long tube, containing an automated pump which draws water through the tube, catching the plastic debris in an internal net which can then be retrieved and disposed of. It also has a sponge which will take in a small oil or diesel spill. The Seabin can be bolted onto a pontoon in a harbour or marina (see photo attached) so it can move with the tide helping to keep the water clear of debris. It needs to be connected to an electricity supply, and obviously needs regular maintenance to check it is working correctly and to remove the rubbish.

There are at present relatively few in Scotland. The first one was installed in the North East at Banff Harbour. Stuart has supplied a photo from a recent visit.

Another is on the West Coast at Mallaig Harbour and there is a possible for MacDuff Harbour. Hopefully there will be others but in the meantime, we in St Martin’s think this is something worth pursuing.  

First of all we have to find a harbour which would accept the Seabin, which has a suitable source of electricity, and which has staff or volunteers willing to maintain the bin and dispose of the rubbish it collects.  It is therefore necessary that we work collaboratively.

Each Seabin costs around £3000, plus installation charges, which is a significant sum.  As our usual routes for fund-raising at St Martin’s – coffee mornings, home baking, special events, fund-raising lunches, etc – are not feasible at the moment, we will have to find other sources of funding. One option is crowd-funding, but for this to be attractive to donors, we need to find a suitable site for the Seabin, show how it will improve the surrounding water, benefit the harbour or marina, local wildlife and the wider community and visitors.  There are many things to consider but we are already working on a number of these and as we’ve had some encouraging feedback, we hope to proceed with this project.

Should anyone wish to offer advice or guidance please do not hesitate to contact St Martin’s Eco-Congregation Group: ECO@stmartinsedinburgh.org.uk

St Martin’s Episcopal Church, 232 Dalry Road, Edinburgh EH11 2JG

This link leads to the short (1 min 50) video which describes the Seabin and how it works. 

Scottish Episcopal Church votes to go net zero by 2030

Urgent action to be taken in response to the global climate emergency

Christian environmental and development charities Eco-Congregation Scotland, Christian Aid and Operation Noah today joyfully welcome the decision of the Scottish Episcopal Church, at their General Synod, to set a 2030 net zero carbon emissions target. 

The motion was proposed by Rev’d Elaine Garman, Interim Convener of the Church in Society Committee for the Scottish Episcopal Church. Speaking ahead of the motion being carried, she said, ‘We are in a climate emergency… We all must act and act now. As a Church we must lead… Our motion today is designed to enable the Scottish Episcopal Church…in reducing our negative impact on our climate… We can be part of Scotland’s preparations for the COP26 climate summit next year.’ 

The motion, passed by General Synod, reads: ‘That this Synod, expressing the need for urgent action in relation to the global climate emergency, call on the Church in Society Committee, working in conjunction with other appropriate bodies, to bring forward a programme of actions to General Synod 2021 to resource the Scottish Episcopal Church in working towards achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030.’

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.

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The Provost of St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Edinburgh, The Very Rev’d John Conway, welcomed the motion: ‘This is an important first step for the Scottish Episcopal Church, showing our commitment to action in the face of the depth of the climate crisis. Responding to the climate emergency is the most urgent task facing us all, requiring all the spiritual and intellectual resources available. To speak with any authority about that spiritual task of living more simply, however, requires us to put our own house in order, and this motion sets us on that road. I look forward to the resources offered to help us all move to being carbon neutral in 10 years time.’

In June 2019, the Scottish Episcopal Church General Synod voted to change its ethical investment policy following a motion proposed by the Rev’d Diana Hall, Rector of St Anne’s, Dunbar. The motion stated that ‘the ethical investment policy be updated to reflect the moral imperative to divest fully from fossil fuels’.

Since then, an Ethical Investment Advisory Group (EIAG) has been established. which gave its first report to General Synod today. The report stated that the Church has sold its direct investments in fossil fuel companies, but continues to invest in fossil fuels indirectly through its pooled funds.

At General Synod, there were calls for the Scottish Episcopal Church to publicly announce its commitment to divest from fossil fuels and to complete the divestment process as soon as possible. In his speech to the General Synod, The Very Re’vd John Conway welcomed the work done to date by the EIAG and asked the Church’s College of Bishops to sign the Scottish Churches COP26 Pledge: Divestment and the Just and Green Recovery, which was recently launched by Eco-Congregation Scotland and other partners.

We are really pleased to see that our supporting Churches are backing the priority to aim for net zero by 2030, which will bring changes to local congregations and their members.

Mary Sweetland, Eco-Congregation Scotland chairperson

The decision of the Scottish Episcopal Church to reach net zero emissions in the next decade follows the Church of England decision to set a 2030 net zero carbon target in February 2020. Both are in the worldwide Anglican Communion, a family of churches in more than 165 countries.

The Church of Scotland set a 2030 net zero target at the General Assembly in October 2020 when its Faith Impact Forum successfully proposed ‘for the Church to transition both locally and nationally to net zero carbon emissions by 2030’. Many local authorities have also made this pledge, including the City Councils of Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Mary Sweetland, chairperson of Eco-Congregation Scotland, said: ‘We are really pleased to see that our supporting Churches are backing the priority to aim for net zero by 2030, which will bring changes to local congregations and their members.’

Sally Foster-Fulton, Head of Christian Aid Scotland, said: ‘Only this week the Secretary General of the United Nations told the world we have a climate emergency which is impacting most heavily on the world’s most vulnerable people. We know all too well here at Christian Aid that those who have done the least to cause the problem suffer the most. And so it’s really encouraging that today the Scottish Episcopal Church has decided to commit to net zero emissions by 2030. As 2020 draws to a close, we can look ahead to COP26 in Glasgow alongside our Church partners in Scotland, as they continue to pursue decisions that will lead to climate justice for those living on the sharp end of the climate emergency.’

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.  Operation Noah is a Christian charity working with the Church across all Christian denominations to inspire action on climate change.

James Buchanan, Bright Now Campaign Manager at Operation Noah said: ‘It is wonderful news that the Scottish Episcopal Church 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 Scottish Episcopal Church supports a just and green recovery from Covid-19 by completing divestment from fossil fuel companies and investing in the clean technologies of the future.’

The motion passed by the Scottish Episcopal Church General Synod reads as follows: ‘That this Synod, expressing the need for urgent action in relation to the global climate emergency, call on the Church in Society Committee, working in conjunction with other appropriate bodies, to bring forward a programme of actions to General Synod 2021 to resource the Scottish Episcopal Church in working towards achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030.’