Environmental Newsletter – Spring 2024

Welcome to the First Diocesan Environmental Group Newsletter!

Dear Friends in Christ,

Welcome to the inaugural newsletter of the Environmental Group! We are thrilled to continue this journey with you, dedicated to nurturing a deeper engagement between faith and environmental awareness and action within our Diocese. Here, you’ll find inspiring stories, practical tips, and opportunities as we strive to fulfil our duty of caring for God’s creation. Together, let’s weave a tapestry of compassion, discipleship, and sustainability, guided by the Holy Spirit and our commitment to leaving a positive impact on the world around us.

Save the Date: Diocesan Eco Pilgrimage to the Cathedral

On Saturday, 24 August, from 10am to 3pm, the Diocese is invited to gather for a day of sharing and learning about our responsibility to protect and care for our natural world.

The day will feature presentations about topics related to reducing our carbon emissions at church and at home, ways to preserve God’s beautiful creation, and ideas for how your church can get involved with the push towards Net Zero.

Congregations will be offered a chance to set up stalls showing more about how they are engaging with climate care in their own communities.

Opportunities for networking, creating partnerships, and obtaining resources will all be available. Lunch will be provided for those who wish or you can plan to enjoy one of the many restaurants or cafés nearby.

A schedule for the day will be released closer to the event and RSVPs will be requested for catering purposes.

You Are Invited: Maybole Eco-Day at St Oswald’s

On Saturday, 11 May, from 11am to 4pm, pop by St Oswald’s, Maybole, KA19 8AF, and celebrate the first Maybole Eco-Day!

St Oswald’s Eco-Group, joined by fellow community champions, groups, and organisations, is gearing up to showcase various eco-ideas and initiatives for engaging with the local community. Explore sustainable solutions, dive into interactive eco-activities for all ages, and ignite change for a brighter future.

Eco-Highlights from around the Diocese

•The Rev Alison Mathew, priest in charge at St Oswald’s, King’s Park, writes about the circular economy achieved at her church via the collaboration of Tales for Tots, a pre-school group offering storytelling and lending library, and Kinder Handl, a community enterprise:

“Who doesn’t like a donut? Well, some people maybe… but what, I wonder, do they have to do with storytelling & a lending library group for pre-schoolers?

Well, here at St Oswald’s, King’s Park, we have recently launched Tales for Tots a pre-school group which offers storytelling, play and the opportunity to borrow a book (or two) to take home. We are delighted that Kinder Handl, a community enterprise on the Southside of Glasgow, have helped us to make this possible.

Kinder Handl is a great example of something called donut economics or a circular economy. They are a community enterprise who have three second hand shops in the Southside, in Mount Florida, Battlefield and Newton Mearns. Passionate about reducing waste and championing sustainability, they ‘breathe new life into items… giving every item a second chance to shine in its new home.’ Their Mount Florida shop is dedicated to all things children, packed full of books, toys, clothes, all looking for a new home. Rebecca, their wonderful manager, has donated most of the resources we need to run Tales for Tots and, the best of it is when we need a change of books and toys, we take them back to be sold in the shop and she gives us a new lot and so it goes on! If that isn’t a good example of a circular economy, I am not sure what is!

If you would like to know more about Kinder Handl take a look at their website (www.kinderhandl.co.uk). They write ‘when you shop with us, you’re not just making a purchase, you’re fuelling the heart of our community. Your support powers local projects that enhance our neighbourhood …’ And that includes Tales for Tots at St Oswald’s. King’s Park (1.30 – 2.30pm on Tuesdays – more info at www.stoswaldskingspark.org.uk).”

•The Rev Stuart Bain writes about setting up a new Eco/Net Zero Group at All Saints, Challoch and working on a plan of action:

“At All Saints, Challoch, a small but growing rural church near Newton Stewart, there is a relatively new Eco/Net Zero Group. We wanted to develop a plan for the church which would help us move forward in caring for creation and reducing our energy consumption. So, we sat down with the Provincial Net Zero Plan, thought about what we were already doing and then completed the Eco-Congregation Scotland Church Check-Up, which we found very helpful. Following the headings in the check-up, and linking into the key areas of the Net Zero Plan we got ourselves a plan which has now been approved by the Vestry. The way forward inevitably involves some audits of the building, Victorian, all electric and difficult to heat! We are also looking at our consumables and thinking hard about our churchyard. So we are now on the journey, having a plan is only the start – the important thing is good communication and getting folks on board so that things change in what we do and how we do it.”

•The Rev Kirstin Freeman shares how her church communities engaged with Consider Creation, our Diocesan Environmental Group Lent Resource:

“During Lent, we have been Considering Creation with the rest of the Diocese. In doing that I had invited those who wished to create a different panel, sometimes two, each week concerning the aspect we were looking at. There are still some to gather in, but here are the ones so far, pulled together in a Resurrection Cross. If we live the new life that we proclaim in Christ, the whole of creation benefits, and we in turn benefit yet more and the blessings and joy are not just for a season, but unending.”

•Work has begun on the Community Garden at St Ninian’s. Nick Trull from RePollinate, who are overseeing the Garden project, is seen with members of the congregation. Nick Trull from RePollinate, who are overseeing the Garden project, is seen with members of the congregation.


•As part of the bicentenary celebrations at St John’s, Greenock, young people helped plant an environmental garden. The St John’s community hopes to also plant sunflowers and looks forward to their wild garden coming to fruition. Thank you to everyone who helped support this family day!

From the Provincial NZAP Group

Three new additions complete Net Zero Team: bit.ly/3wqeBho

New Net Zero Portal launched: https://netzerochurch.scot

Let us know how your community is engaging with Creation!

Next edition: SUMMER 2024 early August, contact us with items by 26 July 2024.

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