A LOCAL church has been recognised with a national award for action on environmental issues.

Lomond Parish Church, in Balloch, received the Eco-Congregation Scotland gold award for their hard work and commitment to the cause.

They are the first church in the area to achieve the award, among only four in Scotland.

It recognises that the congregation has met or exceeded Eco-Congregation’s highest standards in spiritual living, practical living and global living, and is seen as a beacon in the area for caring about environmental issues.

The award was presented by Len Gregory, a trustee of Eco-Congregation Scotland, on Saturday, October 12 at their regular Bookroom and Fairtrade Café.

Jackie Baillie MSP and councillors Sally Page and Ian Dickson attended to congratulate the congregation.

Worshippers has been especially commended for the breadth of their work, with many members taking positive action to reduce their individual carbon footprint as well as that of the church building.

Lomond Parish is the new name for the Church of Scotland in north Vale of Leven following the union last month of Alexandria Parish and Jamestown Parish.

James Anthony, assessor, said: “We were so impressed by the commitment and enthusiasm of the congregation. The use of church grounds for community allotments should be encouraged in all churches with space to spare.

“It was very clear that each member of the eco-team has green threads running through them. Every person was committed to doing whatever they can, in their own special way.”

Mary Sweetland, eco-convenor representative of Lomond congregation, told the Reporter: “It goes beyond the church congregation.

“Everyone that uses the hall knows they have to recycle, produce no food waste, and reduce plastic use.

“It shows the community that we’re doing what we can to tackle climate chaos.”

A spokesperson for the church added: “With the climate emergency now declared by governments we will continue to strive to help the transition to a low carbon economy, so that our children and their children can continue to enjoy the beauty of Loch Lomondside and Leven Valley.”