Stirling Methodist Church has been awarded an Eco-Congregation Scotland Gold Award in recognition of its work and commitment to caring for creation. This is the first Gold Award to be awarded in Stirlingshire and the first to be awarded to a Methodist Church. It is the tenth Gold Award in Scotland.
The Award was made to the Church by Val Brown, an Eco-Congregation Scotland Trustee at a special service on Sunday 4th February. Val said: “I am delighted to be able to present this Award which recognises the sustained efforts Stirling Methodists have made in the church, locally and in the wider world.”
Mark Slaney, Chair of the Methodist Church in Scotland, said: “You lead the way for Methodists in Scotland and set the standard. More importantly, this award marks your commitment and actions as a local church and place of worship in the face of climate crisis and in the faith of the God of all creation.”
Jon Cape, Green Team Leader at Stirling Methodists said: “The award reflects what church members have achieved and also marks a step on our continuing journey to help make a world safe for our children’s future.”
To achieve a Gold award, congregations must show that they have developed a long-term commitment to promoting environmental issues as an integral part of their congregational life and have met detailed criteria which include embedding green issues in spiritual living, practical living and global living.
Stirling Methodist Church, has been especially recommended by the assessors for
- Its work to inform its congregation and wider community about the global ‘COP’ climate change conferences.
- The work to encourage, and ultimately achieve, agreement to divest from fossil fuels by the UK Methodist Church
- Setting up and having a leading role in the long-running Fair Trade Stirling
- Energy efficiency measures and use of renewable electricity.
The Award was made during the annual Plough Sunday service held by Stirling Methodist Church. The Church has re-established Plough Sunday which by tradition marks the start of the farming year. Bringing it up to date, the service included practical tips on how we can grow more of our own food – which can cut ‘food miles’ to a few metres – and celebrated the Church’s Plant Power project encouraging us all to bring more plant-based meals into our weekly diet, so helping our own health and the health of our planet.