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Church Commissioners offer £30m boost to reach net-zero by 2030

20 October 2023

BRISTOL DIOCESE

Grants will be available to fund transitions to LED lighting and energy-efficient heating, such as “chandelier” heating systems, seen here at St Matthew’s, Kingsdown, in Bristol

Grants will be available to fund transitions to LED lighting and energy-efficient heating, such as “chandelier” heating systems, seen here at St Matth...

PLANS to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by the Church of England are being bolstered by £30 million of Church Commissioners funding for a range of schemes, it was announced last week.

Six hundred churches with the highest energy use will be able to apply for a free energy audit and small grants for starting green projects. A further 1000 churches will be eligible for subsidised audits.

Other grants will be available to fund transitions to LED lighting and energy-efficient heating, such as “chandelier” heating systems that are turned on only when the building is in use (News, 21 July).

A Pilot and Evaluation Fund will seek to encourage innovative solutions to the challenge of the Church’s achieving net zero by 2030: an ambition set by the General Synod in 2020 (News, 12 February 2020).

Churches will also be able to put themselves forward as “demonstrator churches”, which will receive funding and technical support in order to become showcases for green practice that other churches can follow.

The funding was made available from the money allocated by the Church Commissioners for the current triennium (News, 11 May 2022).

The programme will fund energy surveys for cathedrals and more than 100 parsonage houses in four dioceses, which, it is hoped, will aid better understanding of the steps required for the C of E to reach net zero in seven years’ time.

“The ambition to be net zero by 2030 is at the core of the Church of England’s response to the climate crisis — to help safeguard God’s creation and achieve a just world,” said the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham Usher, the lead bishop on the environment said.

The director of the C of E’s Net Zero Carbon Programme, Julian Atkins, said that the funding “represents the first major milestone” of the programme, “and there is much more to come”.

According to a press release, details on how churches can apply for funding will be available in due course.

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