Get involved with your own church

COP26 update

COP26 venue Scottish Events Campus photograph courtesy of Glasgow Convention Bureau.

Eco-Congregation Scotland continues to encourage churches and volunteers across the country to get involved in activities relating to the COP26 United Nations climate conference, still taking place this November at the Scottish Events Campus in Glasgow (pictured above). 

Our new 2-page monthly briefing on what COP26 is and how to get involved is online now. Updated every month and highlighting any new information, please download or visit our webpage for the latest.

We appreciate the volunteer support of Adrian Shaw, former Church of Scotland climate change officer, for the briefing and COP-related activities. Adrian is also supporting Interfaith Scotland as we link closely with other faith groups and wider civil society organisations in all our collective work towards COP26. We are delighted that Glasgow Churches Together has taken under its umbrella as a special sub-committee the COP26 Churches Co-ordinating Group we initiated in 2019, enabling more ecumenical support and activities relating to COP26.

COP26 is a timely opportunity for churches and volunteers in every part of Scotland to get more involved in addressing local environmental issues and tackling the climate emergency.

We are also encouraging you to take part in the world’s biggest ever faith-climate day of action this coming week, Sacred Earth, Sacred People – ringing a bell for climate justice or posting on social media – and sharing more upcoming events. In this first of our regular newsletter focused on COP26 updates, we end with a specific call for church halls in and around Glasgow.

As we near twelve months of engaging online due to COVID-19 with our own programme of events, we thank you for your support and encouragement which is always appreciated.


Lomond Parish Church – Prayers and Reflection
Sunday 7th March 2021
11.30am

https://www.facebook.com/events/437861000602477

On the 3rd Sunday in Lent, Eco-Chaplain Rev David Coleman joins Rev Ian Miller and Lomond Parish Church – our Eco-Congregation Gold Award winner in West Dunbartonshire – with a reflection on John 2:13-22 ‘Jesus bleak and wild’ eight months ahead of COP26. Prayers and reflections will be live on Lomond Parish Church’s Facebook page at 11.30am. All our worship material is now shareable for any church – and fits perfectly with a Climate Sunday service. 

This coming Sunday 7th March at 7pm we encourage our volunteers and supporters to continue joining Christians in prayer across Scotland.


Women’s Voices in Climate Action
Wednesday 10th March 2021
10.00am – 11.15am
https://tinyurl.com/mrmjn7av

To mark International Women’s Day 2021 and COP26Interfaith Scotland hosts an interactive dialogue for women of all faiths and beliefs with keynote speakers Zarina Ahmad, climate change communicator and Fiona Buchanan of Christian Aid Scotland. To sign up please fill in the Google form.


Sacred People, Sacred Earth
Thursday 11th March 2021

https://sacredpeoplesacredearth.org

On 11th March, grassroots people of diverse religions are coming together around the world for Sacred People, Sacred Earth, the biggest-ever faith-based global day of action to sound the alarm for climate justice. The Greenfaith International Network has ten demands for global action by faith communities, governments and financial institutions. You can watch a video and sign the multi-faith climate statement here.

Please join in from home – or even your church if you have access – by ringing a bell on the day, or even banging a pot or pan. Christian Climate Action is doing this at 12 noon in the UK, or you can join any time convenient for you that day. Please share your call for climate justice with us by email or on social media

  1. Make a paper sign calling on the action you wish to see. You can make your own or print this link.

2. Hold the sign in or outside your home for a photo or video with you or your household.

3. Email your photo to manager@ecocongregationscotland.org – or post on social media with the hashtags #Faiths4Climate and #SacredPeopleSacredEarth tagging @greenfaithworld and @ecocongregation on Twitter – or @greenfaith and @ecocongregationscotland on Facebook. Please say where you are too.


What can Churches do for Climate Justice?
Tuesday 16th March 2021
3.00pm – 4.30pm

https://climatefringe.org/sccs-live-events/

There are many ways that churches and people of faith can contribute meaningfully to climate action – before, during and after COP26. Join us to hear inspirational campaigners from churches who have taken action on climate, how their faith inspires them and find out how you can get involved in 2021. This Stop Climate Chaos ScotlandClimate Fringe event is in partnership with Eco-Congregation Scotland, Christian AidSCIAF and Tearfund.


Call out for accommodation help
Could your church hall host visitors in November this year for the UN climate talks? As part of the wider civil society COP26 Coalition, we are helping to source ‘crash pad accommodation’ in and around Glasgow, looking for willing partners to help. 

Our vision
The COP26 Coalition is keen to build a network of decentralised crash pad spaces in and around Glasgow to cater for the different needs of activists coming for COP26. Spaces will be inclusive, inviting, and reflect the needs and vision of the international climate movement. Spaces should not only provide accommodation options but be places where different types of people from all walks of life across the globe meet, connect, learn and organise together.

What are crash pad spaces?
‘Crash pad spaces’ cater to those who don’t mind crashing on the floor of a church hall or gym with a sleeping bag – either for a few nights or the two weeks of COP. We expect them to be used by activists who haven’t found suitable accommodation or it has fallen through last minute. Spaces may be of differing sizes but they will meet minimum requirements in terms of hygiene, safeguarding, security and warmth. Ideally these would be church halls or community centres – with room enough to house 20-30 people and perhaps with additional facilities like a kitchen.

Details
We’re looking for around 500 crash pad spaces in and around Glasgow between 1st and 12th November. Obviously COVID makes this type of accommodation very challenging; there’s a big possibility that these spaces won’t be possible under pandemic restrictions. The COP26 Coalition is also developing an online Guest Host platform with Human Hotel – a little like Couchsurfing or an alternative to AirBnB – that should be much more feasible. However, we are keen to find around 500 crash pad spaces as a back up, in case restrictions are lifted before COP.

This is one way churches can help welcome and support those visiting Glasgow for COP26. We will be in touch again soon on churches supporting more activities in Glasgow and across Scotland – plus church volunteers offering rooms at home through the online Guest Host platform.

If your church has the space and resources to help on ‘crash pad spaces’, please email Flick Monk at Friends of the Earth Scotland on fmonk@foe.scot.

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