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Workshops share new ideas for heating our churches

First published on: 22nd March 2023

Despite the intervention of North Yorkshire snow, some 40 people from 25 parishes attended two heating workshops at Embsay on Saturday, March 18. 

St Mary’s, Embsay with Eastby has been holding trials of different types of person-centred heating over the winter and had advertised the workshops as an opportunity to hear about the exercise, as well as experience the effect and appearance of the different units. 

The trial had been organised by Diana Linford, Lesley Higson and Peter Edwards, with the active support of the vicar, the Revd Canon Marion Russell, as part of the church’s implementation of its ‘Carbon Zero by 2025’ plan.

Each session began with an account of how this rural church community has progressed from almost total ignorance to having a plan for implementation. 

Diana Linford, Parish Environment Officer, said: “The key message was that there is no single one-size-fits-all solution and that it is vital to carefully consider the local context: the building and its heritage dimension, the pattern of usage and the involvement of the community. 

“The available resources of people, skill and know-how are likely to affect the rate of progress but do not need to be blocking factors. 

“There are various small, low-cost steps which may be taken quite quickly, and which can make a difference and help to get things going.”

Following the presentation, there was a chance to see five types of heating: two pew-mounted and three wall or overhead examples. 

At this point the participants were able to share their own experiences, their progress and frustrations as well quizzing the St Mary’s group on the details of the project there.

St Mary’s is one of the five churches which comprise the Towards Carbon Neutral Churches in Craven initiative and the workshops finished with the showing of the just completed video of those five churches recounting their very diverse progress towards Carbon Net Zero.

Diana continues: “Feedback from the participants has been positive. 

“It is clear that the provision of opportunities for people from our churches to meet, learn about approaches, gain mutual encouragement and share experiences could have a significant place alongside the excellent online material which is on offer at diocesan and national level.”

Further details of the Embsay project may be found here.

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