ULTRA modern solar panels are being installed one of the UK’s finest Anglo Saxon churches. The £50,000 project was inspired when the congregation at All Saints, Wing with Grove in Buckinghamshire decided to look into becoming more environmentally friendly. They began by deciding to support Shrinking the Footprint, the Church of England’s national environmental campaign.
The solar panels were inspired by St Denys Church, Sleaford, Lincolnshire, which was featured on the BBC’s Songs of Praise programme. The PCC asked former church warden Martin Findlay to visit Sleaford and find out more.
Martin said: “We realised that all churches face east and therefore are likely to have south facing roofs. This is ideal for solar installations.
“In light of the current global climate change crisis, we felt that in addition to praying
at services for Christians look after God’s creation. The Church should take action to reduce its carbon footprint.”
The PCC began a feasibility study into the scheme and then began to raise funds, get a ‘faculty’ (special permission from the Diocese to carry out the work), and planning permission from Aylesbury Vale District Council.
This month the 54 Solar Photo Voltaic panels will be ready to be installed on the nave and south aisle roofs.
The Church will benefit from the government’s new Feed-In tariffs which were introduced in April 2010. Feed-In tariffs mean energy suppliers have to make regular payments to householders and communities who generate their own electricity from renewable or low carbon sources. It will also be able to sell the energy it produces to the National Grid.
Martin added: “It has taken a lot of hard work by the PCC and the congregation but it has paid off and we are delighted that we are now in a position to install these solar panels. We are now developing plans for further action to become carbon neutral as soon as possible.”
Churches that are part of the Diocese of Oxford and interested in exploring putting solar panels on their buildings can contact the diocese for further information: click here.