Eco-Network meeting, Belfast ~ 16th May

Members of the Eco-Network groupAn Eco-Network meeting will take place in South Belfast Quaker Meeting House, 22 Marlborough Park North, Belfast BT9 6HJ on Saturday 16th May from 11am to 1pm. All welcome!

The gathering will be an opportunity to share thoughts and ideas, to see what South Belfast Quakers have been doing to receive an Eco-Congregation Ireland award and Belfast City Council's Brighter Belfast environmental award.

Tony Weekes, a member of South Belfast Quaker Meeting and a former staff member of the Economics department of the University of York and a non-executive director of the Ecology Building Societ, will also speak about money and ethics. To find out more about Tony, click here

A dozen people attended the last Eco-Network meeting, which took place in St John’s Newtonbreda Presbyterian Church in October.

The St. John's team gave an introduction to the work they have carried out in the last two years, setting up recycling within the church buildings, arranging for a bicycle rack to be installed and landscaping of a green area beside the church halls.

The team then gave a tour of the St. John's Halls, which are relatively new, looking at energy use and recycling features in the buildings.

There was also a discussion about environmentally-sound cleaning products available for use in churches, including Ecover, Bio-D and Method.  It was agreed that it is better to use more concentrated products as the smaller quantities required are more efficient. Also, to buy in bulk and transfer products to smaller spray containers.

Bertie Stirling raised a number of matters relating to the future of green issues within churches in Northern Ireland.  Having attended a meeting of the European Christian Environmental Network in Hungary in September, he noted that a number of European churches have high level policies on environmental matters, but that these had always arisen from grassroots initiatives. Concerned about the lack of such policies in Northern Ireland, he would like to see leadership across denominations looking more closely at these issues. He asked for feedback from anyone who knows of such work going on.

 The Eco-Network group is really keen for other individuals, groups or churches who may be interested in promoting an environmental approach in their church or locality to come along. Please email Kerry Nicholson (member of Fitzroy Caring for Creation group) on to get added to the email list for more information.