Added on 22/04/2013
The Diocese of Cashel and Ossory has become the first Church of Ireland diocese to receive an eco award.
The Eco–Congregation Ireland (ECI) diocesan award, which was presented at a roadshow in Kilkenny on Saturday 20th April, was made in recognition of the many eco–friendly initiatives that have been undertaken by the diocese.
Catherine Brennan SSL, chairperson of Eco–Congregation Ireland, presents an eco award to the Right Rev Michael Burrows, Bishop of Cashel and Ossory. Also pictured is Janet Crampton, member of the diocesan eco committee, and Rev Andrew Orr, Rector of Tullow and member of the diocesan eco committee
A Green Charter was adopted in 2008, which all 33 parishes in the diocese have signed up to and display on their premises. The diocesan eco committee, which consists of the Right Rev Michael Burrows, Bishop of Cashel and Ossory, Rev Andrew Orr, Rector of Tullow, and Janet Crampton, organises environmental seminars and an annual eco awards event as well as competitions for young people.
Pictured at the ‘Live Simply, Live Well’ eco roadshow in Kilkenny’s River Court Hotel are (from left): Janet Crampton, Rev Andrew Orr, Rector of Tullow, the Right Rev Michael Burrows, Fr Seán McDonagh SSC, Gavin Harte, and Catherine Brennan SSL, chairperson of Eco–Congregation Ireland
Many parishes in the diocese hold harvest festivals, animal blessing services, Plough Sundays and Walk–to–Church Sundays and have created wildflower meadows. Other eco initiatives have included bee–hive demonstrations, the children in Kilkenny growing pumpkins from seed for harvest, St John’s children creating a butterfly–friendly area in the graveyard and Grange Sylvae parishioners collecting cowslip seeds and distributing them to other parishes. Carlow Parish has planted trees and shrubs and installed bird boxes and held confirmation classes outdoors.
Restoration of St Laserian’s Cathedral, Old Leighlin, has been undertaken in an environmentally–sound manner, including the installation of solar–heated water pipes into a central wall to combat damp. Solar–powered heating has beeen installed in St Lachtain’s, Freshford, and solar panels in Stradbally Rectory.
Presenting the award, Catherine Brennan SSL, chairperson of ECI, said: “Today in the historic city of Kilkenny the Diocese of Cashel and Ossory is making history as the first Church of Ireland diocese in the country to receive an eco award. Their green charter – a comprehensive document – sets out the vision and policy of the diocese for the protection of our fragile planet, not only nationally but globally. The charter is an excellent model for all churches. Respect for, and protection of, the natural environment is not a luxury for Christian churches today but an essential aspect of their life and mission.”
On receiving the award, the Right Rev Michael Burrows said: “Thank you very much, on behalf of us all, for the way you have affirmed and encouraged us in our environmental endeavours and for your encouragement to us to apply for an award. We have benefited from having you inspiring, stirring and examining us.”
Rev Andrew Orr, Rector of Tullow, was delighted that the diocese received an award in recognition of its environmental endeavours. He said: “Many parishes in the diocese have worked hard on environmental awareness and it is good for them to have this recognised. Eco initiatives are hugely enjoyable – there’s a great positive energy – and all ages can get involved.”
The only other diocese to have received an ECI diocesan award is the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kerry, which received an award last May. Seven parishes in Ireland have received parish awards, including Whitechurch and Rathfarnham C of I parishes in Dublin. St Molua’s, Stormont, received an award from Eco–Congregation Scotland in 2002.
ECI is an ecumenical project set up in 2005 by the Irish Inter–Church Meeting’s Church in Society Forum to encourage churches to adopt an environmental approach to worship, lifestyle, property and finance management, youth work, community outreach and contact with the developing world.
For further information, see www.ecocongregationireland.com.
For further information please contact:
Tel: +353 (0)86 170 6923
For further information, please contact the Diocesan Secretary, Mrs Denise Hughes: