We are delighted to announce that Buchlyvie Parish Church linked with Gartmore Parish Church have been awarded their Eco Congregation Scotland Bronze Award in recognition of their work and commitment to caring for creation. The assessors commended the way in which the two congregations collaborate as they work to address environmental concerns and care for creation. The assessors also commended the following aspects of their work: the recycling schemes which deal with difficult to recycle products, the great links with schools and the support the congregations give to the local school’s twinning with an African school, and the support of the congregations to Fair-trade and their commitment to using fairly traded products.
Care for creation forms an important part of the worship and witness of these churches, with a special focus at Creationtide and harvest in the Autumn. There was a special focus in worship in the lead up to COP 26 last November.
Visitors to the church buildings will see the noticeboards dedicated to sharing ideas and tips on environmental matters. Lots of great ideas and tips are included in the church notices, with members taking this beyond the church and into the community as they write articles and suggestions for the village newspapers. Members of both these churches are active participants in Eco Congregation Scotland’s Stirling network and attend many of the Eco Congregation national events.
Members of the congregations are challenged to consider their own use of resources and energy in their homes. In 2019 a Christmas tree festival was held. Village organisations each had a tree and were given the challenge to decorate their tree using items from their homes. This event then acted as a catalyst for further events focussed on reducing waste.
Gartmore church has developed part of the church grounds into an eco-faith garden. This has provided a welcome space for the community and congregation alike to socialise. An eco- garden is planned for Buchlyvie church.
Both congregations are active supporters of Christian Aid and have petitioned the local MP on climate justice issues.