Clonakilty Methodist Church, Co Cork

Clonakilty Methodist Church, Co Cork, has been eco-aware and eco-active for many years. After receiving an Eco-Congregation Ireland (ECI) award in 2008, the congregation continued its eco endeavours and in January 2013 became the first church in Ireland to receive a second ECI award!

Clon award 3The following is a summary of their eco-initiatives:

PRACTICAL:

- a garden was created at the back of the church, which includes trees and flower borders

- eco-friendly cleaning products are used (including washing-up and floor cleaning)

- Fairtrade productsClon award 1(food and drink) are mainly used for refreshments

- switched to Airtricity as energy provider because of its reputation (and awards) as the greenest on the market

- old light-bulbs are replaced with energy-saving bulbs

- rubbish is recycledDSC_0029csmallwhere possible

- an ‘eco-champion’ was appointed to keep the flame alive in the congregation

- the lights in the church are switched off during morning services on days when it is bright enough

- two solar-light lamps were bought - one for the pulpit and one for the organ - so that, even when the sunlight streaming from the windows doesn’t provide enough light for readers and players, only the solar lamps are needed and the ceiling lights can be kept switched off

- the boiler (for the heating system) was replaced by a more efficient one

SPIRITUAL:DSC_0025csmall

Ministers and local preachers try to emphasise in prayers and sermons our commitment to the welfare of our planet. A special focus on our special connection with nature is at the heart of our harvest service, when the church is decorated with products of the earth.Clon award 6

COMMUNITY:

- this past summer we launched our "weekly green suggestion" project: an eco-tip every Sunday (almost…) is read and handed out at the service, in order to stimulate members (and hopefully their family and friends) to take eco-friendly choices; for our Harvest service we handed out a summary sheet with all the tipsClon award LOAF lunch

- the latest of our Charity Musical Evenings was dedicated to the West Cork Animal Welfare Group, collecting funds to help abandoned animals, especially dogs, in our area

GLOBAL REACH:

- our Christmas Charity Craft Sale, in mid-late November, is held in collaboration with various organisations working in/for Third World Countries, thus offering a choice of many “fair-trade style” products to our visitors and raising money for development projects

- we organized an ecumenical Story Telling Evening to collect money for the missionary works of the three churches in Clonakilty (Catholic, Methodist, Church of Ireland); during the show a member from each of the three churches spoke to the audience about the actual projects their congregations are involved in, thus raising awareness on the specific situations and needs.