Tranent Parish Church has been presented with a bronze eco badge from Eco-Congregation Scotland, an environmental charity which works with churches throughout Scotland to help tackle climate change.

The charity’s awards scheme rewards churches with a bronze, silver or gold award for their work to fight climate change.

The presentation of the bronze award took place as part of the morning service at the church on January 14, with the Rev David Coleman, ecumenical eco-chaplain for Eco-Congregation Scotland, preaching the sermon.

In the past 18 months, members and friends of the church have been involved in many ways to cut their carbon footprint, including recycling plastic bottle tops and old pens, litterpicking with Tranent Wombles and Windygoul Primary School, an eco action stall at Tranent Gala, giving out more than 100 Morsbags (shopping bags made from leftover materials), and running a monthly fairtrade stall.

Fintan Hurley, board member at Eco-Congregation Scotland, said: “It was great to be with a congregation where the aim is to involve people of all ages and backgrounds in caring for creation and in social justice, as an integral part of how we live out our faith, and to be with a congregation where the focus is not just on church activities but on working together with the wider community in Tranent and East Lothian.

“The bronze award is well deserved.”

Mr Hurley presented the award to Hannah Spencer, a member of the congregation’s Eco Action Group.

Henry Mathias, chair of Tranent Wombles, said: “I am pleased to see the church recognised for their work.

“We are incredibly grateful for any help we get from community groups and the church have been a huge help. They have joined us on litter picks and do their own too.

“The work they do is incredible.”

The church’s present project is making crisp packet bivvy bags to give to rough sleepers.

Bivvy bags are a waterproof cover which goes over a sleeping bag to protect it from getting wet.

Russell McLarty, Eco Action Group co-ordinator at Tranent Parish Church, said: “Crisp packets which take 60-80 years to biodegrade are reused and the reflective foil in the crisp packets will help keep folk warm and dry.”