On Sunday 21 February 2010 South Leith Parish in Edinburgh, Scotland, was presented with an Eco-Congregation Award following an extensive campaign to cut their carbon footprint.
The Church of Scotland (Presbyterian) congregation has helped with a number of environmental activities for young people in the local community, and have put in place “eco procedures” in their own buildings.
They are the first church to receive the newly designed Eco-Congregation Award plaque, which has been made by Greyfriars Recycling of Wood (GROW).
GROW, part of the Greyfriars Church Community Centre based in the Grassmarket, is an emerging social enterprise that seeks to create new employment opportunities for the long-term homeless with addiction and mental health problems.
It brings together homeless service users and volunteers from the local community as they produce high quality saleable goods made from recycled wood – most of it from old church pews.
The quality of goods produced demonstrates the ability of people who are generally devalued and the process of making things of beauty and value from what has been discarded as worthless is itself a message to the wider community.
Adrian Shaw, the Church of Scotland’s climate change officer, said: “Eco-congregations share the vision of re-using scarce resources and the beautiful plaques made by GROW help us put that into effect”.