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Out of the question

by
28 February 2014

Write, if you have any answers to the questions listed at the end of this section, or would like to add to the answers below.

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Your answers

A writer on rural churches mentioned heated cushions. Who makes these, and what is the cost?

The Exeter diocese has been trialling some of these in three parishes as a possible alternative to warming people rather than buildings. The technology is the same as for hand-warmers. Clicking a metal disc in a liquid-filled plastic bag triggers a crystallising reaction that produces heat for about 90 minutes. The cushions can then be sat on or held on a lap, and provide a gentle warmth akin to a hot-water bottle's.

After use, the bag can be boiled in water to liquefy once more, and the process can be repeated up to 1000 times, the manufacturers say. The chemicals used are water-based and non-toxic, and these cushions might assist in reducing our carbon emissions over time.

We see these as possible low-energy solution to heating little-used churches, but the trials have yet to be assessed in terms of their effectiveness.

We have been working with a Scottish company, Hot Botts, who sell these cushions for use in sports grounds north of the border. The retail price is about £18, but discounts can be had on bulk purchases [News, 9 November 2013].

Martyn Goss (Director for Church  and Society, diocese of Exeter)
Exeter


Your questions

Many bishops are wearing black clerical shirts. What, then, stops priests wearing purple?  P. W.

By tradition I am a liberal Catholic. I am also a gay man in a civil partnership and am currently serving a prison sentence. Quite clearly the C of E does not want me as a member. How can I develop a personal, sacramental faith without the attached religion?  A. I.

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