Report from July Gathering in Reading

Last Thursday, amidst a deluge, the second Earthing Faith Gathering was held in Trinity Church, Reading. With so many different aspects of the environment which could be tackled, this meeting was constructed to focus on issues surrounding buildings and projects; a topic guaranteed to create interest and questions. We had four excellent speakers and plenty of time to get into the questions.

Demystifing the role of the DAC

The first was Natalie Merry – DAC Secretary based at Diocesan Church House. She answered many questions and demystified the role of the DAC (the Diocesan Advisory Committee who advise on physical changes to church buildings and churchyards) and was refreshingly realistic and extremely encouraging to all churches who wished to reduce their carbon footprint and investigate larger scale energy projects such as solar PV panels on the church roof.

Find out more: DAC | Churches and renewables resources

George going green

Next we heard from Tom Linley from St. George’s Church in Newbury who spoke about their work to put on 129 solar panels on the nave roof, along with roof insulation and secondary glazing. He spoke also spoke about fund raising and their next project to install a ground source heat pump.

Find out more: George Goes Green website

Greening St Johns

Joanna Laynesmith from St John and St Stephen church in reading spoke about their smaller scale projects to move a community and school towards environmental awareness, and it was great to hear the very human journey that a community must go on to make change real and lasting.

Find out more: Greening St Johns blog

Going green at Park United Reformed Church

Our final speaker was the Revd. Rob Weston, the leader at Park United Reform Church, also in Reading. He spoke about their fundraising and community ownership of a solar panel installation on the roof and a wood pellet boiler in their basement. There was a great deal of interest in the latter, as their church is one of the first in the country to install such technology. He also told us about their next project – a community orchard!

Find our more: Park United Reformed Church website

There was a great buzz in the room, with questions and conversations going on long after the speakers officially stopped.

Thank you to everyone who spoke and to Trinity Church and Richard Cocks for their hospitality and welcome.

The next Earthing Faith gathering will focus on theology and the environment. 7-9pm, Thursday 8th November 2012 at St Andrews, Chinnor (map) – you can register now.

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