Tag Archives: Scottish Episcopal Church

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.’

Scottish Episcopal Church General Synod 2020

Show your support today

Picture courtesy St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh: Provost The Very Rev’d John Conway is among supporters of the Scottish Churches COP26 Pledge at the active Edinburgh eco-congregation

Scottish Churches COP26 Pledge:
Divestment and the Just and Green Recovery

On the eve of this year’s General Synod, Eco-Congregation Scotland welcomes moves by the Scottish Episcopal Church to consider further steps on divestment from fossil fuels and work towards achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

The approach being considered by the General Synod, taking place online this weekend, complements the Scottish Churches COP26 Pledge launched by Eco-Congregation Scotland with Christian Aid ScotlandOperation Noah and Friends of the Earth Scotland.

Please sign in support today as an individual or on behalf of a church or organisation at:

https://www.ecocongregationscotland.org/scottishchurchespledge/

The new Pledge demonstrates support across Scotland’s churches for urgent action on fossil fuels divestment, responding to the climate crisis and supporting a just and green recovery from Covid-19 as we approach the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow next year:

“We believe it is unethical for Churches to invest in an industry that is harming the planet, as seen in ever more extreme and life-threatening weather events locally and globally.”

“We support the campaign for fossil free Churches and are conscious of the increasingly severe impact of the climate crisis, especially on people living in poverty and on all life in our common home.”

“We recognise the urgency of the need for a just transition from fossil fuels to clean alternatives that offers jobs and wellbeing to people in Scotland and across the world.”

“We commit ourselves to using our financial resources to contribute to the flourishing of God’s creation, both now and for generations to come.”

Individuals are called to register support for the pledge, reviewing their own investments or pensions and seeking ethical alternatives.

Congregations are asked to work towards divesting their own funds and call on national and regional bodies – including Dioceses and Presbyteries – to divest from fossil fuels.

Denominations, regional Church bodies and Christian organisations in Scotland are called to commit to divestment within the next two years, seeking investments with positive environmental benefits and which support a just and green recovery.

Please sign in support today as an individual or on behalf of a church or organisation at:

https://www.ecocongregationscotland.org/scottishchurchespledge/


We thank the Scottish Episcopal Church and value our partnership with the Church in Society Committee, supporting Eco-Congregation Scotland and particularly the work of the ecumenical Environmental Chaplaincy.

We appreciate the considered work of the Ethical Investment Advisory Group formed last year and recognise that the climate crisis is increasingly important across the Church’s Boards and Committees and for every church in every Diocese. 

We look forward to our partnership developing further as our work grows in seeking to support all Scotland’s churches and denominations on care for God’s creation.

“Roadworks” Advent II: Isaiah 40:1-11, Mark 1:1-18
Please watch a major reflection for Sunday 6th December 2020, the second Sunday of Advent, from Eco-Chaplain Rev David Coleman, for you to view and share.

Thanks also to Urzula Glienecke (1st December) from Edinburgh’s Greyfriars Kirk and Grassmarket Community Project, the Eco-Chaplain (2nd December and 3rd December) and Eleanor Harris (4th December) from St John’s Episcopal Church in Edinburgh for the latest contributions to our Advent Calendar.

The Judge to Cheer the Forest” offers a 1-2 minute reading and reflection until Christmas Eve. Please view and share the items daily at Eco-Chaplain online and Eco-Congregation Scotland, on FacebookTwitter and YouTube every day of Advent.

Jesus, the Eucharist and the Power within the Universe for Transformation
Saturday 5th December 2020, 11.00am
12.30pm
Please email manager@ecocongregationscotland.org for the Zoom link to join the third prayerful reflection from Sister Mary Kilpatrick SND and Liz Snodgrass of For the Love of Creation Project. From “Who we are and our Kinship with all Creation”, then “Where we come from and our Story of Evolution” last month to reflecting now on “Jesus, the Eucharist and the Power within the Universe for Transformation”.

Global Theologies of Gender-Based Violence – the role of faith leaders
Monday 7th December 2020, 5.00pm
6.00pm
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/global-theologies-of-gender-based-violence-the-role-of-faith-leaders-tickets-128839278751
Join Christian Aid Scotland head Sally Foster-Fulton with Rt Rev’d Anne Dyer, Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney, and friends around the world to mark 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. Inspirational speakers will discuss the role of faith communities and leaders in speaking out, sharing some of the creative ways gender-based violence is being challenged. 

Save money on your energy bills this winter
Tuesday 8th December 2020, 6.00pm6.40pm  Heating controls
Wednesday 9th December, 6.00pm6.40pm  Insulation
Thursday 10th December, 6.00pm6.40pm  Simple saving tips
Home Energy Scotland and the The Wise Group have organised three accessible webinars to help you stay warm for less this winter on heating controls and how to make the most of them, insulating your home to keep the heat in and simple changes you can make to your energy use which will save you money.

Glasgow City Region Climate Adaptation Strategy
Wednesday 9th December 2020, 7.00pm
8.00pm  Glasgow City Region
Friday 11th December 2020, 10.00am
11.00am  North and South Lanarkshire
Climate Ready Clyde is consulting until Christmas Eve on the draft Glasgow City Region Adaptation Strategy, seeking to ensure the region’s society, environment and economy are prepared and can flourish in the future climate.

The Variety of Life: Encouraging Biodiversity
Wednesday 9th December 2020, 7.30pm
8.30pm
https://www.ecocongregationscotland.org/event/the-variety-of-life/
Tayside Biodiversity Partnership coordinator Catherine Lloyd joins our Perth & Kinross and Angus & Dundee Local Networks for a relaxed discussion on next year’s potential for individual churches planting to encourage bees and other pollinators, supporting nature in maintenance of graveyards and welcoming swifts and bats.

We were delighted to hear that the Eco-Group at St Anne’s Scottish Episcopal and Methodist Church in Dunbar have still been meeting on a Wednesday morning every month thanks to Zoom video conferencing. Please get in touch if you would like support to meet online for your own church.

If your church is concerned about the environment and wants to get involved, it’s free to register and begin your journey as an eco-congregation. We also encourage your church to please consider membership, to become more active in the charity and support our Local Network activities. Please join online or print a form and post to us.

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


Scottish Church Leaders’ Prayer
Join us at 7pm this second Sunday of Advent:

Living God,
In this season of Advent,
Speak to us in the wilderness.
Speak, even in the hard places,
And teach us to mark out the places where you have met with us.
Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Restraining Climate Change: What is the Role of Faith Communities?

 

Tuesday 1st December 2020
7.30pm

Register using this link:
https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_x18cxZxSS_yyGZ6_bkEVWQ

Climate emergency, coronavirus and Brexit. How can we as faith communities work with others to build a just and green future? These are moments of great opportunity but also significant challenge. Hosted by St Columba’s by the Castle Episcopal Church in Edinburgh, join the discussion with:

The first Change in a Time of Chaos science and faith webinar, a series of talks hosted by St Columba’s towards COP26 next November.