- What is the aim of Eco-Congregation?
- How did Eco-Congregation develop?
- What does Eco-Congregation Ireland offer?
- Is Eco-Congregation Ireland just about ‘green’ issues?
- How do I get my Church involved?
- How much will it cost our church?
- What resources does Eco-Congregation Ireland offer churches?
- How can I gain an award for my church?
Eco-Congregation aims to encourage churches to celebrate the gift of God’s creation, to recognise the interdependence of all creation, and to care for it in their life and mission and through the members’ personal lifestyles.
From a Pilot Study involving 22 churches from across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The churches were drawn from a variety of contexts (city centre, inner city, suburban and rural) and varied in size from 10 members to around 1,000. The feedback from the Pilot Study shaped the project development.
In Ireland, Eco Congregation has been developed in co-operation with four churches — Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist and Church of Ireland. It offers three key components:
- Resources — designed to fit into and enhance church life and mission and downloadable from this website.
- Support — suggesting ways churches might avail of local specialist help such as local authority environment officers and environmental centres.
- Award — to affirm churches good environmental work and witness this to the local community.
Yes and No! Though the project was designed to help churches tackle environmental issues, participating churches have reported that it also boosts church life and mission, links us to those who suffer most from the degradation of our fragile planet, contributes to community building, stimulates church life and is enjoyable!
Undertake an environmental audit of your church to identify its existing good environmental practice and prioritise areas for development. Eco-Congregation Ireland provides a church’s environmental check-up with a mainly tick box format. Once you have downloaded your chosen resources, distribute them amongst appropriate people/groups in the church and use the ideas to green your churches life and mission
Eco-Congregation Ireland resources are available free of charge to churches across Northern Ireland and the Republic. Once they have agreed to begin the programme, each church will be provided with a folder in which they can keep all their environmental material. This folder is also free of charge and can be ordered by contact with one of our church four representatives (see Contacts). After completing the environmental audit, the church can then simply download their desired modules from this website.
The resources have been designed to fit into existing church organisational structures to support and enhance the life of local churches. It is recommended that churches draw on ideas and resources from at least three modules, but they are welcome to download more. See available modules.
The Award is designed to recognise the environmental achievements of churches and witness these to their local community. To qualify for the Award, which will be independently assessed, churches should undertake projects/initiatives in spiritual, practical and community focused areas. Please retain supportive evidence of activities such as orders of service, magazine articles, posters, photographs of activities, reflections from members for the assessment. Following receipt of the application an assessment visit will be arranged. Successful churches will receive a plaque.