First up was the ‘Growing Up in Scotland‘ report. I was on the group which wrote the report so I was glad to see some good deliverences (motions) coming from the report. I’ll pick out the highlights for me…
Child Friendly Churches
3. Instruct the Church and Society Council to work with other Councils to introduce a Child Friendly Church initiative based on the United Reform Church’s model.
This was amended to welcome the work the Mission and Discipleship council has already done on preparing a Child Friendly Church initiative, based on the United Reformed Church model.
4. Urge Scottish and UK Governments to evidence as a matter of course how young people’s voices are heard in the development of legislation and policy.
5. Instruct the Church and Society Council, together with Presbyteries and other Councils of the Church, to bring to the General Assembly of 2010 a report on the ways in which each is enabling the voices of young people to be heard in their decision-making processes.
Great to see an emphasis on listening to children in decision making. I wonder how congregations and the Assembly will make that happen?
8. Instruct the Church and Society Council to work with representatives of the National Youth Assembly to develop awareness of models of support in congregations on the issues involved in mental illness among young people.
This issue is one that has become ever more important to me. My wife is a soon to qualify mental health nurse and her training has confirmed my belief that the church can and should play a role in supporting people with mental ill-health. Like the other deliverence, the question will be how?
10. Urge Scottish and UK Governments to strengthen their commitment to end child poverty by 2020 and ensure that policies and adequate resources are in place to achieve that aim.
11. Urge the Scottish Government to ensure that resources, including partnerships with Churches and others, are in place to deliver the ambitions of the Early Years Framework.
12. Demand that HM Government uphold, respect and protect the rights of children who are asylum seekers or who are trafficked into our country.
For me these show that the church is where it should be, campaigning on behalf of the poor and those who’s rights are overlooked.
Engaging with Technology, Science and the Environment
16. Instruct Presbyteries, in association with the Church and Society Council, to produce a plan for each congregation in their bounds, setting out how they will measure energy consumption in their church
buildings, ascertain their carbon footprint and achieve a year-on-year reduction of 5% of their carbon
footprint using the Eco-Congregation Scotland carbon footprint module; and instruct the Church and Society Council, in consultation with the General Trustees, to report to the General Assembly of 2010 on the implementation of this instruction.
17. Welcome the proposed incorporation of Eco-Congregation Scotland as a Charitable Company and continue to support the work of eco-congregations.
18. Affirm the current commitment of the Church and Society Council to the ‘Responding to Climate Change Project’ and instruct the Church and Society Council, in partnership with other Councils, to complete the review of this project with a view to its development.
The climate change debate threw up some interesting discussion around how ambitious the church should be about targets, with 5% perhaps not being nearly enough of a reduction.
This raised the question again about the suitability of buildings for me. Is the reduction of carbon footprints the catalyst needed to get rid of unsuitable buildings once and for all? Can the church really claim to be good stewards while pouring money into drafty and expensive to heat buildings? And the church’s central offices in Edinburgh won’t escape the carbon audit…