We have a very active Eco Group and having passed our first asessment can claim to be an Eco Church.
Many Christians are concerned about the environment but don't know what they can best do to improve things. Eco-Congregarional Scotland is an ecumenical charity which offers a programme to help congregations understand environmental issues and make appropriate practical and spiritual responses. There are approximately 244 churches throughout Scotland who are involved with Eco-Congregation ranging in size and denomination. They share a conviction that our society's wholesale exploitation of the natural world is a dishonour to God the Creator and that to do nothing in the face of environmental destruction is to fail in our duty to worship God and care for the poor. As well as taking action in their own church life, Eco-Congregations are working together in networks and promoting the programme to other churches through talks workshops, events and materials. Though Eco-Congregational Scotland, churches are enthused and equipped to weave environmental issues into their life and mission in an enjoyable and stimulating way. They do this within three areas of the programme:
- Grow in faith and understanding - make the link between environmental issues and Christian faith
- Put God's house in green order - Take practical action in the church
- Change lives, change communities - Influence attitudes and take action in the local or global community
Cadzow was the 47th church in Scotland to be awarded the EcoCongregation Award in May 2007. To achieve this we undertook a range of activities that involved everyone in the church and then, following a rigorous inspection, were granted the Award. The photographs in ths article show some of the activities including eg. introduction of a recycling station and a a Fair Trade stall, eco themes in children's organisations, eco speakers to the men's and women's groups, planting bulbs and placing bird feeders in the church grounds, re-development of a plot of waste ground into a wildlife garden, recycling the Christmas tree into an Easter cross.
Currently the Eco Group are considering a number of new activities including development of a bird survey station in the church grounds, nature walks and ways to reduce the carbon footprint of the church. If you would like to calculate your carbon footprint please go to http://www.ecocongregation.org/scotland click on materials and then on module 13 find a link to show how to calculate how much Carbon Dioxide you produce at home and travelling by car (you might be surprised!)
If you would like to join the Eco Group or come along to one of our meetings please contact Harry Webster or Laura Bence.