Thinking Anglicans

General Synod – press previews

Madeleine Davies Church Times Absent children will be a focus at next month’s General Synod

Harriet Sherwood The Guardian
Church of England could stop heating cathedrals to hit 2045 emissions target
Church of England urged to apologise for Windrush racism
Church of England could seek to end paupers’ funerals

Patrick Sawer The Telegraph
Time for church to own up to past and present racism, say clergy
Heated cushions for zero carbon churches as Bishop praises ‘brilliant’ Extinction Rebellion

Zaina Alibhai iNews Church of England urged to apologise for racism toward Windrush generation

Steve Doughty Mail Online Will paupers’ funerals be banished? Church of England set to help families who can’t afford to pay for a loved one’s send off

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Susannah Clark
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Susannah Clark

Any sincere acknowledgment of climate change and global warming is good, but I think Greta Thunberg would suggest that by itself that is not good enough. I agree. So it’s good if the Church proposes to turn words into action. One thought though: by 2045 it is possible that positive feedback loops will have kicked into action, and we may be past the point of no return. The climate emergency is now. The overwhelming problem is that, globally, neo-liberal capitalism drives a fetish for profit, which usually translates as growth. And growth so often implies consumption of ever more resources.… Read more »

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

At my Cathedral we’ve been asking for solar panels to be fitted for years, the arguments against always come down to
1 the roof pitch is too steep
2 the heritage lobby will never give permission.

Surely the first can be overcome by technology while the second demands a change of attitude at both the various heritage bodies and the CFAC. I’ve not yet heard of any such reconsideration.

Cynthia Katsarelis
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It’s getting more common for people to buy or lease panels from a nearby solar array when rooftop installation is impractical. Here (Colorado, USA), it’s less expensive, about 25 percent of the cost of putting them on the roof. It can be a good workaround. I saw a large solar array from the train between Cambridge and Ely. My guess is that the array can be positioned more efficiently than on a cathedral roof – a significant issue for England, I would think. (Colorado averages 315 days of sunshine per year). Good luck!

Rowland Wateridge
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Rowland Wateridge

I’m sure you are right about that. A surprising fact from the BBC: 6% (only) of the UK land area is built over. There’s plenty of space for solar panels at ground level. Of course, by 2045 who knows where advanced technology might have taken us.

Catherine Ross
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Catherine Ross

Hi Richard, I’m the environmental person here at the Cathedral and Church Buildings division, and I’m glad to say we already have a lot of churches and some cathedrals around the country with solar panels. You can see them on the map here: https://facultyonline.churchofengland.org/renewables (filter for solar PV). If you also filter for “grade I” you can see that this includes some iconic listed buildings. Of course, it’s always case-by-case with each building; some are much harder than others. This can be because of the nature/age/structure of the roof, because of the highly visible nature of the panels, or because… Read more »

Shamus
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Shamus

I’ve recently learnt that installing solar panels on a medieval church can be complicated by issues concerning attaching the panels to the roof. Not recommended for roofs that may need replacing within the next 10 years or so, I gather. Such difficulties do not tend to attract publicity.

David Runcorn
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David Runcorn

In 2016 Gloucester Cathedral became the oldest building of its type in the world to install Solar panels.

Bernard Silverman
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Bernard Silverman

What’s the carbon footprint of the Lambeth Conference (including all the pre-meets and all the accompanying persons etc)? A good example would be to allow participants to take part by video-conferencing. [Or, of course, not to hold the whole thing at all, but that is a different question….]. Similarly for the General Synod, where one could imagine shortened meetings, video conferencing, remote electronic voting, etc. One interesting possibility is to draw up statistics on the number of air and road miles incurred by meetings. A more daring thing would be to start asking churches to survey their own congregations for… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
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Yes Bernard, spot on. I wonder how many people attend cathedral services on foot or by public transport, well known to be reliable on Sundays. I see horse and cart soon becoming a necessity and imagine the conversations between the Mrs Proudies and the hapless Archdeacons when a new bishop arrives (to say nothing of discussions on the quality of locks and keys). This would enable the appointment of diocesan stable-hands, grooms and cleaners-up-after to add to the growing army of diocesan posts—only these people would actually be useful. There are many other benefits that I can imagine, not the… Read more »

John U.K.
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John U.K.

Fr.Stanley,
No need for episcopal carriages – bring back gaiters and let them and archdeacons travel by horseback, perhaps also reviving confirmations with the bishop remaining mounted, as ISTR one Bishop of Lincoln was alleged to do.

David Rowett
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David Rowett

I have said for many years, ‘Never trust a church with a large car park….’

Kate
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Kate

Who is going to calculate and ensure carbon neutrality on everything from roof repairs, to the washing of altar cloths (carbon neutral washing powder anyone?) to weekly flowers and the travel of the flower arrangers? More work for the incumbent I guess.

And carbon offset schemes don’t always live up to their promise.

The sentiment is good but the practicalities and admin are formidable.

Anne Lee
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Anne Lee

Am I the only person when clicking on the Madeleine Davis link gets an article in The Guardian on paupers’ funerals?