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Photo-voltaic shingles planned for church hall roof

The Church Times (18th October 2002) contains a letter from Martin Batchelor (Vicar in the Rectorial Benefice of Hawarden, with responsibility for St. Francis's, Sandycroft, 102a Hawarden Way, Mancot, Deeside) and Andrew Rainsford (Diocesan Stewardship Adviser, The Diocesan Resource Centre, 20 Rhosnesni Lane, Wrexham) as follows:

"Stewardship is often referred to as being "more than money". It is about care of creation as well. Within the Rectorial Benefice of Hawarden, we have St. Francis's Church, Sandycroft. The church hall is a few yards away from the church. Both the church and hall require upgraded facilities. The plan is to join them together. As part of the exercise, we have looked at sustainable energy.

Site meetings have been held with the diocesan advisory committee (DAC) and the Archdeacon informs us that our plans were recommended for faculty approval at the most recent meeting of the DAC. These plans include having the south-facing roof on the new build, and the re-roofed south-facing aspec of the hall roofed and covered with photo-voltaic shingles. These are of grey appearance and look like roof tiles. Through the proposed supplier and installer of the roof, it is possible to negotiate a "net metering agreement". This will mean that the surplus electricity generated by the roof can be sold, at retail price, into the National Grid.

We have also requested that the architect investigate the installation of storage heaters that will be powered from the roof. These could keep the church above the "dew point", and assist with associated dampness caused by old buildings. The feasibility of that aspect of the project has yet to be fully established. Additionally, in the matter of photo-voltaic tiles/panels etc. the Energy Saving Trust has a generous grant scheme. No church buildings have received grants under this scheme. We were hoping to be the first .... We hope to have the system up and running by spring of next year, and would be happy to share what we have discovered with others.

From a diocesan perspective, we have also floated the idea of using churchyards as a site for community composting schemes, and have just opened discussions with one of our county councils regarding community recycling schemes. Both proposals are embryonic: but sustainability extends beyond energy and into waste-management as well. All discussions and projects are being driven by the simple view that in order for the Church to have a credible voice on sustainability, we have to be doing, and be seen to be doing, what we can within the bounds of available resources."

This is printed with permission of the Church Times. Do visit their website

See also : St James, Piccadilly, London installs solar panels - photo voltaics on roof - December 2005

St James Piccadilly photo voltaics

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