Cashel and Ossory Diocese receives an eco award at Kilkenny roadshow

Catherine Brennan SSL, chair of ECI, presents an eco award to the Right Rev Michael Burrows. Also pictured is Janet Crampton and Rev Andrew OrrCongratulations to the Diocese of Cashel and Ossory, which received an Eco-Congregation Ireland (ECI) diocesan award at our Eco Roadshow in Kilkenny on 20th April!

It was the first diocesan award to be made to a Church of Ireland diocese. The only other diocese to have received an award to date is the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kerry (May 2012). Seven individual churches/parishes have received awards.*

The ‘Live Simply, Live Well’ roadshow was co-hosted by ECI and Kilkenny eco churches. The speakers were ColumbanCatherine Brennan SSL with Fr Seán McDonagh SSC and Gavin Harteeco-theologian and author, Fr Seán McDonagh SSC, and Gavin Harte - a sustainability, energy and climate change consultant with ESD Training.

Presentations were also made by Cashel and Ossory Diocese Eco Committee and the Oblate parishes of Inchicore, who won a parish award in September 2012.

The award was made to Cashel and Ossory in recognition of the many eco-friendly initiatives that have been undertaken by the diocese. A Green Charter was adopted in 2008, which all 33 parishes in the diocese have signed up to and displayEco Roadshow 010 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.

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 inRev Andrew Orr Stradbally Rectory.

To read more about what the diocese has achieved, click here.

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 anSr Agnes Coll of Inchicore 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.”

People travelled from far and wide, including Dublin, Tipperary and Longford, to attend the roadshow. It is hoped to holdFr Tom McCabe of Inchicore similar events in other parts of the country – both sides of the border – in due course. Watch this space!

* ECI awards parishes and dioceses that have taken environmental steps in four areas - practical, spiritual, community and global awareness. The following parishes and dioceses have received awards to date:

Clonakilty Methodist Church, Cork: 2008

Whitechurch Church of Ireland, Dublin: March 2011

Dundrum Methodist Church, Dublin: June 2011

Fitzroy Presbyterian Church, Belfast: October 2011

Rathfarnham Quaker Meeting, Dublin: December 2011

Rathfarnahm Church of Ireland, Dublin: January 2012

Diocese of Kerry (Roman Catholic): May 2012

Oblate parishes of Inchicore, Dublin: September 2012

Clonakilty Methodist Church, Cork (2nd award): January 2013

St Molua’s, Stormont (Church of Ireland) received an award in 2002 from Eco-Congregation Scotland (ECI was established in 2005)