When the heating system at Saint Mark’s Church Kempshott was condemned as unsafe, the PCC knew they had an expensive problem, and one which would limit the building’s use by the community. But in January 2021 the PCC decided to grasp the opportunity to pursue replacing it with a carbon friendly alternative, taking seriously the Church of England’s call to its communities to aim to be Net Zero Carbon by 2030.
Taking advice from the Diocesan recommended heating advisers, Chris Reading Associates, a scheme was developed to install a new system using BioLPG rather than fossil fuels. But it wasn’t going to be cheap. The challenge of raising the significant funds needed was met head on and congregational fundraising began in earnest and applications for grants were made.
The congregation raised over one quarter of the total, and the church is grateful for the generous grants they also received from the Veolia Environmental Trust, Four Lanes Trust and the Garfield Weston Foundation.
In addition to a new boiler and radiators to heat the church, the installation required a large, yellow tank to be buried in the grounds. The tank supplies Futuria Liquified Gas from Calor which is made from a blend of waste residues and sustainably sourced materials, making it an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG). It has also meant a reduction in CO2 emissions by up to 85%.
As a result, the church has a significantly reduced carbon footprint and no longer uses fossil fuels for heating. As the price of “town gas” has gone up so much recently, Saint Mark’s expects to be spending 35% less on gas. It’s also warm again, which means the church can open up as a Warm Space for the community this winter.