ALL Saints’ Church in Leek Wootton is looking to a greener future.
Warwickshire County Council’s Green Shoots Community Climate Change Fund – a £1millon fund to support a wide array of community-powered initiatives in addressing the climate change emergency – has given the church £10,000 towards the cost of replacing its highly inefficient, century-old heating system with a more modern and effective alternative.
The total cost of this work is in the region of £25,000 and the church is seeking to explore alternative means of funding to make up the difference.
The church’s commitment to achieving carbon neutrality does not end at the replacement of its antiquated heating system. It is currently in the process of replacing all its lighting with energy efficient LED lighting and has even bolder plans for the future.
In the longer term, All Saints’ Church hopes to balance its energy usage with solar panels on its south-facing roof. It could accommodate13kW of panelling on the roof which would put it in a position to return renewable energy to the National Grid over the summer months.
The vision is it may be possible to run small fixed electric heaters with the solar energy during the day during the winter months, to help keep the building at a more comfortable level, with the infra-red system providing the extra boost as required on a Sunday.
The Church is waiting upon detailed costs on this part of the scheme along with structural surveys on the south roof to assess its feasibility.
Church warden Jonathan Kingston said: “The award of this grant will allow us to reduce our carbon footprint and hence our impact on the environment. It gives us the opportunity to put in a diverse solution to the problem of satisfactorily heating an old village church.”
WCC climate change spokeswoman Coun Heather Timms said it was vital everyone played their part in helping tackle the climate crisis facing the planet.
“We all know that more needs to be done about climate change, and we can all make changes to our lives to reduce our carbon footprint. Maybe you recycle more, choose active travel instead of using the car or buy your electricity from an energy company which provides 100 per cent renewable energy.
“These are all great things to do, but one of the biggest contributors to our carbon footprint is something we often don’t think about as being very polluting. Our homes, our business premises, and our places of worship.
“We are very fortunate to have a variety of very old churches of all shapes and sizes dotted across the Warwickshire landscape in our towns and villages. It is likely many of these churches will have heating systems as antiquated and inefficient as the one that is to be replaced in All Saints’ Church, Leek Wootton.
“I hope this case study can serve as inspiration to other places of worship in a similar position to show what can be done to play their part in making a county that is sustainable now and for future generations.”