RURAL CHURCH BUILDINGS
How to look after, develop and utilise them
While we do our best to ensure that all links in this resource are correct, we cannot guarantee that links to external websites are kept up to date.
10. Energy Efficiency and Sustainability
When about to undertake any works whether repairs or re-ordering, routine maintenance or installing new lighting or heating, make sure you have looked at the most energy efficiency option as well as thought about sustainability.
All funders will increasingly be looking at this element when assessing applications.
WHERE TO FIND MORE HELP
Find out if your diocese/denomination has an environmental officer who can advise you.
The Parish Buying website offers national negotiated deals on everything from paperclips to photocopiers. If you are within the Church of England or the Church in Wales, you can take advantage of the bulk buying power of the Church to obtain competitive prices for your gas and electricity. All 100% of the electricity in the Energy Basket is green and from UK-based renewable sources. parishbuying.org.uk
Information on increasing the energy efficiency of your church, renewable technology and other environmental issues can be found on the Church of England’s national environmental website Shrinking the Footprint. You will also find information on Government support and other possible funding for energy projects. There are also toolkits covering issues to think about when renewing your heating system, upgrading your lighting and how to best manage waste and recycling, transport and renewable technology. There are plenty of case studies providing inspiring examples of good practice. churchcare.co.uk/shrinking-the-footprint
The Methodist Church has provided very useful information on how to undertake an environmental audit for your church.
There are also guidance notes on various forms of renewable energy that you might be interested in investigating. methodist.org.uk/our-work/our-work-in-britain/climate-change/carbon-reduction-opportunities/helpful-links
The United Reformed Church has a section on its website setting out its environment policy
urc.org.uk/news/2110-the-urc-adopts-new-environmental-policy which can be read in full here urc.org.uk/images/mission/church_and_society/Resources/Environmental_Policy_2016_with_Resolution.pdf
The United Reformed Church has a section on its website setting out its commitment to sustainability and information for its churches. This is in joint working with the Baptists Together, the Methodist Church and the Church of Scotland. jointpublicissues.org.uk/issues/environment
The Great Britain Quaker Yearly Meeting drives, facilitates and supports action to live out their corporate commitment to become a low-carbon, sustainable community. They help Quakers and others to live more sustainable lives and to explore the connections between sustainability, economics and peace.
You can download guidance, and the Sustainability Toolkit on how your Meeting can respond to this commitment and read about what others are doing by going to quaker.org.uk/resources/directory-of-services/sustainability
The Quakers also own the Northfields EcoCentre in Birmingham which is housed in a converted meeting house and is next door to an existing meeting house. The Ecocentre exists to affect social change and a transition towards a low carbon sustainable lifestyle inspired by Quaker faith in action. northfieldecocentre.com/ecocentre
The Crossing the Threshold toolkit has a Chapter on Sustainability
CHAPTER 9: Ensuring your Project is Sustainable
takes you through all the elements of a project that you should consider to ensure your project is sustainable in the long term.
It looks at four aspects of sustainability
It can be download for FREE from hereford.anglican.org/Crossingthethresholdtoolkit
Eco Church is the successor to Eco-Congregation (in England and Wales only) and offers an award scheme for churches in England and Wales that want to demonstrate that the gospel is good news for God’s earth. They also offer resources for congregations on how to live sustainably and address environmental issues through their life and mission ecochurch.arocha.org.uk.
In Scotland, Eco-Congregation Scotland is the Christian environmental organisation ecocongregationscotland.org.
The Energy Savings Trust gives ‘impartial, accurate and independent advice to communities and households on how to reduce carbon emissions, how to use water more sustainably and how to save money on energy bills’. energysavingstrust.org.uk
An increasing number of organisations can advise and support community groups seeking to create their own renewable energy. Find one that is local to you. One example is Sharenergy, a not-for-profit organisation that helps communities find, build and own renewable energy generation. sharenergy.coop