More Than 3,500 UK Churches Make the Switch to Renewable Energy

Thousands of churches have switched to renewable electricity tariffs or plan to according to figures released by Christian charities.

More than 3,500 churches in the UK have either already transitioned to green tariffs or are in the process of doing so. Around 2,000 switches came from 16 Catholic dioceses, representing a total of 1,922 parishes, which are now running entirely on renewable energy. (Find out more about renewable energy as a cheap energy source)

Many of these were is response to the Pope’s encyclical for the environment in May 2015 in which he called on followers to tackle climate change and the “urgent challenge to protect our common home”.

The Rt Revd John Arnold, Bishop of Salford - one of the 16 dioceses to have switched - and chairman of Catholic aid agency CAFOD, said: “There are many ways in which we may respond to the threat and the reality of climate change and adopting renewable energy for our church buildings must be a priority. Pope Francis challenges us all to ‘care for our common home’, and by adopting renewable energy we will directly help people threatened, and already most severely affected, by climate change.”

The number also includes 920 of the Salvation Army’s UK sites and a third (at least 100) of Britain’s Quaker Meeting Houses, which receive clean energy at a special rate from green utility Good Energy.

In addition, nearly 700 churches from across denominations have so far individually signed up through the Big Church Switch which was launched in February this year to encourMore Than 3500 UK Churches Make the Switch to Renewable Energyage religious institutions to transition away from fossil fuels. It was originally launched to coincide with Lent but following the success of the initiative it is to be extended into 2017.

Loretta Minghella, chief executive of Christian Aid, said: “We need a big shift to renewable energy and a shared commitment to leave the vast majority of fossil fuel reserves in the ground. This action by thousands of churches shows a groundswell of public support for renewables to which governments must respond by doing all they can to shift to a clean energy future.” Around 340 congregations have also signed up to a broader scheme ‘Eco-Church’, committing to a range of environmental improvements.

 

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