Parish Returns and the Energy Footprinting Tool

Parish Returns

Every year your church is asked to complete returns about membership, attendance, church finances and energy footprint, and to answer questions on the Archdeacons’ Articles of Enquiry. 

Every year, the national team take your data and produce dashboards for mission and finance which are there to help you answer important questions about your parish or benefice: who lives here, who comes to church and who are we missing or not meeting?

The dashboard gives an important snapshot and so can inform your mission and outreach opportunities. This enables church growth.

Please complete your return online using the Church of England’s Online Parish Returns System. You can also look at your own data and dashboards on the System.

If you encounter technical issues with the website, you can contact the National Church's Statistics Unit via email and they will be able to assist with these problems.

Energy Footprinting Tool

The Church of England’s Energy Footprint Tool is now open for churches to enter fuel and power use from 2023. The data collected from the tool will help your church understand its carbon footprint and will mean you may be eligible for grants to help kickstart your net zero projects. The easy-to-use online tool will tell your church what your carbon footprint is, based on the energy you use to heat and light your buildings.

What do I have to do?

Simply enter your church’s energy figures from the year before. Once you have entered all the data, you will immediately receive a report and results on your computer or smartphone. This includes:  

  • The church’s carbon footprint in CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent)  
  • A simple assessment of your buildings’ efficiency, in graphical form
What do I need to get started?

You will need your utility bills for the year before: electricity, gas, oil, or whichever other fuel you use. For example, if you are completing it in 2024, you need your 2023 bills. If you have solar panels, find information on their generation over the preceding year.   

If you want to include a separate church hall or other building, then you need the bills for this too. If you want to exclude an area which is permanently rented out to tenants and sub-metered, you will want this information to hand.   

For most churches, we already know the floor area. If we don't already hold this information, you will need a sensible estimate of the m2 floor area of the church, and any other associated buildings you are inputting, such as the church hall.   

You will also need a sensible estimate of the number of person-hours that the church is used throughout the year.  Please remember when entering this data that a good estimate is fine – these numbers do not need to be 100% accurate, and long as they are in a relevant ball park.  

The system is open until 31 July 2024 and you can find it on the online Parish Returns system.

 

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