Please send me SCA's fortnightly briefing:

December 3, 2008

Church congregations go green

Seven years ago church leaders from all of Scotland’s main denominations gathered at Dunblane Cathedral and committed their churches to a programme designed to tackle climate change. Since then, the eco-congregations movement has spread rapidly and recently celebrated its 200th member


The Moderator of the Church of Scotland last night urged parishioners across the country to lobby their MSPs about a ground breaking green Church initiative.

Right Reverend David Lunan called for action ahead of the Scottish Parliament’s debate on Eco-Congregations which will take place on 17 December.

Details of the motion, put down by Labour MSP Des McNulty, were revealed at yesterday’s event in Edinburgh, celebrating a major milestone for the scheme.

At a packed ceremony in the Scottish Storytelling Centre, Strathfillan Church in Argyll was unveiled as the 200th member of the Eco-Congregation network in Scotland.

The Moderator praised the group’s success, and asked parishioners across Scotland to raise awareness of the Eco-Congregation movement in Parliament and beyond. “I would like to ask all congregations to write to their MSPs, both constituency and regional MSPs, to let them know about their efforts through the Eco–Congregation network” he said.

“Our excessive consumption is having an increasingly adverse effect on the poorest people of the world and we must begin to think now about how we respond to this challenge and what actions must be taken.

“I congratulate the people of Strathfillan, and hope that many other Churches across Scotland take inspiration from their success.”

The Green Party’s Patrick Harvie gave a short speech, and also presented a special certificate to the minister at Strathfillan, the Reverend Liz Gibson.

The Green MSP enthused about the grassroots scheme across Scotland: “It’s fantastic to see churches taking action on environmental issues through Eco-Congregations, both by making practical changes in the church and by encouraging local community involvement and awareness.

“In order to beat climate change we need all hands on deck – it may be a global problem, but it is also the great moral issue of the day, and local communities must be central to the solution.”

Reverend Liz Gibson agreed with his sentiments: “Sustainability is a big issue for us, and we are looking forward to working with a variety of local groups, including the community trust and the primary school.

“The congregation has already come up with a number of suggestions, including a compostable toilet, and we will investigate these possibilities further.

“We are delighted to become the 200th Eco-Congregation in Scotland.”