Bishop to bless Norfolk's first high-tech hot air church
The Bishop of Norwich is set to bless the first church in Norfolk to be heated by high-tech air source heat pumps.
All Saints Church, Hethel, South Norfolk, is the first church in Norfolk and one of the first in the UK to install a full heating system using ultra-efficient air-source heat pumps.
These can be run off wind-farm electricity from Ecotricity (think Swaffham wind turbines), a combination that results in zero emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants.
In partnership with Secker & Sons (Norwich) Ltd, churchwarden Peter Nicholls researched the possibilities, designed the system, and obtained the necessary permissions and a significant grant from the British Airways Carbon Fund.
Seckers installed the system in time for the ‘Beast from the East’ earlier this year! The improvement in comfort is dramatic.
The church council is delighted that the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James, has agreed to participate in a special ‘sustainability’ service on November 18 in one of his final services as Bishop. Following the pattern of the usual monthly participative family service, this will include contributions from a Hethel family whose members are involved in biodiversity conservation projects in Colombia and Madagascar. Bishop Graham will speak and ask God’s blessing on the new system and the future activities that it will enable.
Organiser Peter Nicholls said: “Christians take climate change seriously, not least because it will inflict huge damage on many poor people in parts of the world that are far less comfortable than the UK. As a local church, we are committed to following the Church of England’s ‘Shrinking the Footprint’ lead, doing all we can to minimise our carbon emissions.
“This system allows us to be comfortable with a clean conscience. There will be an exhibition open all day about the technology, costings and processes to help any other churches who might be interested in following our lead. We’re delighted that Bishop Graham has accepted our invitation and we offer a warm welcome to visitors.”
The service begins at 4pm on Sunday November 18 in Hethel Church (Church Lane, Hethel, NR14 8HE); the exhibition will be available all day. There is no charge for either service or exhibition, but an offering will be shared between Hethel Church and Christian Aid’s The Big Shift project.
Pictured above are the air-source heating pumps at Hethel Church.