EcoCFO at the Ploughing 2019

Some visitors to the ploughing on Environment Day

Rev David White sent ECI this report: EcoCFO, the Environment Committee of the Church of Ireland Diocese of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory, was delighted to be part of the National Ploughing Championships which were held this year in County Carlow.  Each day had a theme. Day 1: Children and Young People; Day 2: Vocation and Day 3: Environment.  The third day was organised by a newly formed committee comprising: Ms. Lesley Bayley (Chairperson), Rev. Trevor Sargent, Ms. Pat Coleman, Rev. Victor Fitzpatrick and Rev. David White. 

We had the opportunity to promote our new ‘New Eco Awards’ which were launched last May.  The competition for a Diocesan Eco Award 2019 has a revised criteria and strategy.  There are now eight categories and awards and will from now on be given at Bronze, Silver and Gold levels.  The categories are: Capital Project, Environmental Diligence and Local Awareness, Spirituality and Well-Being, Motivation of Children, Motivation of Young People, Church Environs, Global Awareness and Schools.  Applications could be made under multiple categories but due to restricted funds only one prize would be awarded to each parish/organisation.  The intention is that the new criteria will encourage parishes and organisations to strive for greater standards and excellence in their work.  The awards will be given at Diocesan Synod which is being held in Carlow in October.

We were also able to remind parishes that following on from the Tree Conference last April, and wishing to support parishes as they manage trees on their properties, the Committee are making an Information Pack for Select Vestries available at this year’s Diocesan Synod. The intention is to provide practical information and advice which will help Select Vestries make good, considered and correct decisions.

Our next public event will be ‘Morning Seminars’ which will be led by Niamh Brennan in Carlow.  Niamh is currently studying for her PhD in Trinity College, Dublin and is well-known for her work in the area of Cosmology and Creation spirituality.  The Anglican Consultative Council’s fifth Mark of Mission is ‘To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.’  Therefore, our churches have a special responsibility to be environmentally responsible.  But all this starts with who we are. These two morning seminars will explore our deepest identity and what is our place in the story of the Universe.  They will be held: 10 am – 12.30 pm; Saturday 23 November 2019; Church of Ireland Community House, St. Mary’s Church, Carlow Town R93 E427 (More information from Revd. David White at: revdavidwhite2018@gmail.com)

The Church of Ireland has had a long relationship with the Ploughing.  This year we had a touchscreen map where, no matter what diocese you were from across the Church of Ireland, you could input your first name, type in or choose your parish church from the drop-down menu and then leave a message.  It was great to have visitors from across the island of Ireland (from the Church of Ireland and many other Churches) who came to visit and also share in Fairtrade refreshments.  We might see you there next year?