St George continues to go green…

St George’s Church in Wash Common, nr Newbury have been busyover the last few years making their building more welcoming and warmer.

Through their innovative George Goes Green project the church has been creating a warm, welcoming, usable, sustainable, community space by:

  • Ensuring the church building is accessible, flexible, affordable and widely used for local events
  • Installing a cost effective heating system with low running costs to benefit future generations
  • Lowering our carbon footprint; using green energy and moving away from fossil fuels
  • Flexible hire rates according to means What have we done so far…?
  • Replaced and insulated the church ceiling
  • Installed 129 solar panels plus control systems, and connected to the national grid
  • Added secondary glazing to high windows
  • Created a thermal lobby at the cloister entrance with independent accessAdded a welcome area and re-worked the north car park
  • Resolved pre-existing damp problems

“So much has already been achieved. And now it’s time for the final push; to install a sustainable heating system and open up the church to community use.”
Revd Paul Cowan, Vicar

The project is now moving on to renewable heat through a ground source heat pump.

What’s left to do?

  • To harness ground source heat, requiring 5 boreholes in church grounds
  • To replace the old and inefficient boiler with a ground source heat pump
  • To replace the church floor and install under-floor heating
  • To glaze the north transept to enable its use as a multipurpose meeting space

To help the church to realise the final phase of the project they are asking people to:

  • Use, and recommend, St George’s as an events venue to your friends and neighbours
  • Donate to the project – collect a green form from the back of church
  • Organise a fundraising event
  • Keep your eyes peeled for external funding opportunities
  • Spread the word – raise our profile!
  • Pray for the church community and this project

For more information about the project visit:

www.georgegoesgreen.org

www.st-george-newbury.org

For more information about renewable energy options and your church visit the Diocese o Oxford website.

Oxfordshire Green Open Homes – May 2014

GOH advert

Oxfordshire Green Open Homes is a great opportunity for people to engage with their local community about climate change. You could open up your own home to the scheme – or visit someones home locally to see what you could do in your own.

  • Find a local Green Open Home

Visit greenopenhomes.net

  • Open up your own Green Home

By opening your home to show Solar PVs or a new boiler you will have an opportunity to inspire visitors to take action to address climate change.  You can also take part to promote any lifestyle changes or low cost improvements, such as turning down the heating, putting foil behind radiators, wearing an extra jumper, or taking the bike instead of the car. The minimum requirement is to be open for just 2 hours.  If you’d like to take part please contact Lois Muddiman at The Low Carbon Hub for further details using the contact form below or call 01865 246099.

Oxfordshire Community Woodfuel Programme

Oxfordshire Community Woodfuel Programme has been started to help those managing woodlands and those wanting to fuel their community.

The programme aims to help local communities connect with their local environment and local energy supply, and understand the productive nature of woodlands, as well as increase supply and demand for woodfuel. As a result the aim is to reduce carbon footprints, improve biodiversity, and reduce ‘fuel miles’.

Find out more, including details of their ‘Logs for Labour’ scheme via the website: Oxfordshire Community Woodfuel Programme.

SuperHomes Week – 16 – 24 March 2013

SuperHomes are older homes refurbished by their owners for greater comfort, lower bills and far fewer carbon emissions – at least 60% less! The SuperHomes Week is a chance to see eco renovation at its impressive best as the pioneering owners open their doors. Admission is free!

Oxon-SH1-374x294

You could visit Zoë Williams and see how she has made a 93% carbon saving by a range of measures at her 1950’s bungalow in Stanford in the Vale.

Details at: www.superhomes.org.uk

Creation Time 2012

Creation Time this year will be from 1st September until 4th October 2012.

Churches Together in Britain and Ireland have produced a range of resources for churches to use in Creation Time on the theme of sustainable energy to mark the UN Year of Sustainable Energy for All in 2012. CTBI resources include sermon notes, prayers, a discussion group resource, and The Gift – an outdoor, midweek, celebration of harvest.

Download all the CTBI resources here

Operation Noah have also prepared sermon notes and prayers for use during Creation Time. The notes are based around the Lectionary readings and combine insights from the bible passages with themes from Operation Noah’s Ash Wednesday Declaration regarding climate change.

Download the Operation Noah resources here

You can find other resources aimed at Creation TIde from previous years at: www.earthingfaith.org/creation-tide

Switch your church to green electricity

Energy can be the most significant spend for churches therefore good pricing is important as is good contract management to ensure tariffs remain competitive and parishes are not “rolled over” into uncompetitive contracts.

Switching supliers not only can savce you money it can also be complicated – so below we provide details of negotiated deals that make switching easy and include the best deals for churches on green renewable electricity suppliers.

The Diocese of Oxford schemes

The Diocese of Oxford has negotiated schemes with two of the UK’s leading green energy providers that make switching to green electricity easy and make donations to the Church of England’s Climate Justice Fund. Read more…

 

Parish Buying website schemes

The national Church of England has created the Parish Buying website to provide churches access to negotiated schemes with two of the UK’s leading green energy providers, as well as ‘brown’ energy providers.

Parish Buying have appointed the two leading national green energy suppliers, Good Energy and Ecotricity, to provide green electricity to churches. By purchasing green electricity through Parish Buying your church will be eligible for discounts off the standard tariffs.

Find out more and register for free at: www.parishbuying.org.uk/categories/energy.html

Note on rate of VAT

Irrespective of which company supplies your energy, as a church undertaking charitable activities, you should be eligible for exemption from the Climate Change Levy and also benefit from a reduced rate of VAT (currently 5%) . Do check your bills to ensure this is the case, and if not request a VAT declaration certificate from your energy supplier for you to complete and return to them.

* The Climate Justice Fund is the Church of England’s national environmental fund working in partnership with Tearfund. The Climate Justice Fund gives you and your church the opportunity to compensate for the size of your carbon footprint. The website also provides campaigning actions, and resources to help you pray and talk about this issue with others. www.climatejusticefund.org

 

Visit a retro-fitted energy efficient house – March 2012

Pioneering owners of some of the UK’s most energy efficient houses will be hosting free open days during SuperHomes Week between Saturday 17th March and Sunday 25th March 2012.

SuperHomes are older homes that have been refurbished to the highest standards of energy efficiency – resulting in greater comfort, significantly lower running costs and a reduction in carbon emissions of at least 60%.

The houses showcase a range of home improvements. For example many will be super-insulated so visitors with draughty old solid wall properties will discover some clever ways to make their home more comfortable in winter. In many cases renewable energy heats water, provides electricity or contributes to space heating. You will also find the latest in low energy lighting on display.

Attending an open day provides the opportunity to speak to a homeowner who has already done the thinking and undertaken and lived with some major improvements. Who could be better qualified to help you make the right choices?

Ther are lots of SuperHomes in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. You’ll find them on the SuperHomes Locator Map.

For more information, or to book to attend an open day, visit www.superhomes.org.uk