Strathmore Road Methodist Church hosted the Newcastle District Lay Employee Away Day last week with the theme of Eco-Consciousness. The Methodist Church has set the aspirational target to reach net carbon zero by 2030 so the theme was very topical and relevant as we work within our respective roles towards this goal. The day was informative and interesting, with the story of Strathmore Road's journey to reaching the Eco Church Silver Award inspiring the attendees while acknowledging the daunting size of the Award questionnaire and breaking apprehensions with explanations about how if we reviewed our current efforts we would reach many of the points before embarking on specific changes. The Tree of Green asked us to consider something we currently do, and something we pledge to do towards this Net Zero aim, and as the tree filled we were encouraged that we were not alone, and if everyone made small changes individually the effect was considerable.
The event was an inspirational opportunity for networking, with many lay employees working in isolation, often with no colleagues in an similar role within the individual Circuits. The discussions led to a view for more collaboration between those within the District working in similar areas, with Children and Families workers expressing the potential of working together to produce a mini-Eco award for those attending the events they organise within their individual churches. The sparks of new ideas and encouraging words between the Lay Employees, many who had never met before, was a joy to see and be a part of.