Dioceses of Cashel and Ossory lead way with Green Charter

The United Dioceses of Cashel and Ossory are leading the way in the Church of Ireland with their introduction of a Green Charter, which is displayed in all church premises throughout the dioceses. The Dioceses’ Environmental Group hope to have a bill introduced at General Synod in May, which will encourage the adoption of a similar charter by all of the other dioceses in the Church of Ireland.
At the last Diocesan Synod there was a presentation of the first Diocesancapital project C&O Environmental Awards. St Lactains, Freshford in the Kilkenny Group won first prize for Capital Project – Attentiveness to the Environment During Capital Improvement. The parish undertook major restoration work to its ancient church and installed a solar-powered heating system, which keeps both the church and parish centre at a comfortable 18 degrees Celsius.

environmental diligenceThe Leighlin Group took first place in the Environmental Diligence – Environmental Consciousness Within the Parish. The parish church of Grange Sylvae hosted a spectacular display of cowslips during the summer months. Parish members gathered the precious seeds and offered their produce to other parishes within the Diocese, which had the appropriate soil type and conditions suited to the cowslip. Seeds were packaged and made available to Synod members.

The Carlow Group won the Motivation of the Young category. Themotivation of the young confirmation class spent an afternoon visiting a local property, which hosts saddleback pigs whose home is natural forest. The class was introduced to both the environmental and historical value of the property and presented reports on their visit. Such was their praise and enthusiasm that a visit for other parish members was arranged.

church environsStradbally Union in the Lismore Group won the category of Church Environs – the Development and Maintenance of Church Environs. Stradbally parishioners have been protecting the ancient ruins within the graveyard over many years. Tree replacement and the excellent maintenance of the graveyard together with the dedication to the protection of this ancient site made Stradbally deserved winners of this category.

No entry was received in the Global Awareness category, although it was recognised that much work has been initiated by organisations within the dioceses.

The 2010 competition closes on 30th April. Parishes are encouraged to participate at any level. For details, see


Cashel and Ossory held an Eco Awareness seminar in May 2009, which was a huge success. The Very Rev Gordon Wynne, Dean of Leighlin, spoke on the subject, "Our Christian Responsibility to the Global Effects of Climate Change". He said that the three most important things underpinning the balance of our world at present were the environment, ecumenism and Fairtrade. There was a question-and-answer session and there were stalls about eco glazing, alternative energy systems, Airtricity, composting, pump systems for energy systems and eco baby products.