St Mary’s Cathedral, Palmerston Place, Edinburgh have recently been given their Silver Eco Congregation Scotland Award in recognition of their work and commitment to caring for creation.
St Mary’s Cathedral were praised by the assessors for several aspects of the work that they are doing. The assessors noted that a great deal of work had gone into making the case for the cathedral divesting from fossil fuels, and the congregation had played an important part in persuading the General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church to consider further steps to do the same.
The assessors were impressed by the investigations that are underway by the Cathedral team to reduce the carbon footprint of the Cathedral. An important aspect of this is investigating possibilities of installing a lower carbon heat source. This will allow them to reduce heating and other energy uses in the cathedral. Whilst this work is still ongoing, serious consideration is being given to installing a heat pump. The team have sourced grant funding allow them to investigate all these possibilities.
The assessors praised the way that care for creation is embedded and visible in all aspects of the life of the cathedral including prayer, sermons, magazine articles, and can be seen on their website. Recycling is actively promoted within the cathedral. Members of the congregation are frequently challenged to consider ways to reduce their impact on the environment.
Exciting work has been carried out in the cathedral grounds. This has included planting fruit trees and creating a wildlife area. The assessors praised the wonderful idea of setting up a seed library. This initiative encourages people of all ages from the local community to become involved. There is a good link between the Cathedral Green Team and their neighbouring congregation at Palmerston Church of Scotland. The Cathedral congregation are active members of the local Eco Congregation Scotland network, with members attending some of the national events held by Eco Congregation Scotland too.
The Cathedral is a Fairtrade Church and its One World Stall has been selling Fairtrade products for many years.
The cathedral is participating in a scheme to link up a cycling route through the city and will be encouraging travel by bike.
We look forward to hearing how the team continue to develop this good work.