Kilbride Presbyterian Church became the second Presbyterian church in Northern Ireland to win an Eco-Congregation Ireland (ECI) award.
The award is in recognition of Kilbride’s many environmental endeavours, including recycling, use of energy-saving light bulbs, planting trees and wildflower bulbs, using Fairtrade or local products, working with community organisations and other churches in clean-up and craft days as well as supporting people who volunteer to help others abroad.
These initiatives have sprung out of natural responses of many individuals in the congregation.
Over many years, members of the congregation have responded to situations and needs.
ECI is an inter-denominational project that encourages churches to adopt an “eco-approach” to worship; lifestyle; property and finance management; community outreach and contact with the developing world.
ECI chairperson Sr Catherine Brennan, congratulated Kilbride for their achievement, saying: “Kilbride Presbyterian Church has begun to live this vision. On behalf of Eco-Congregation Ireland, I am delighted to present them with an eco-award this Trinity Sunday - the second Presbyterian Church in Ireland to be so honoured, Fitzroy, in Belfast, being the first one.
“I congratulate Kilbride’s eco-group, and indeed the whole congregation, on their dedicated work for God’s creation.
“This is a landmark award too in that Kilbride is the tenth Christian church or diocese to receive an eco award from us.
“Kilbride Presbyterian Church is well-known for its friendly atmosphere and enthusiastic singing. They also feature well on the hospitality side by catering for many different groups and conferences. Members of Kilbride do their best to live God’s love for the whole of Creation in the way that they worship; manage energy; dispose of waste; shop; plant and treat people globally and locally.”
Accepting the award, Kilbride minister, Rev. Karen Campbell, said: “At Kilbride Presbyterian Church, we believe we are called to strive for the ideal of God’s shalom in the community in which we live. “We are delighted to receive this eco-award today and pray that it will spur us on to hand on a land to the next generation that reflects more of Christ’s kingdom of goodness.
“The congregation have plans to use even less energy, in the buildings, travelling to church, work with the local community group and the council to improve our local environment and support those individuals who are prepared to give up their time to help communities in need.”