Successful grant bids help Ripon churches go green

Churches across the Ripon area have been celebrating recently as they look to go green.
St James’ Wetherby and Towards Carbon Neutral Churches in Craven have been the recipients of grant funding from the Rural Community Energy Fund, or RCEF.
The Fund looks to help those in rural areas move away from using fossil fuels in their energy usage, and to help make buildings more efficient.
St James Wetherby is using their grant to commission a consultant to undertake an assessment of its church and ancillary buildings, with an aim to find out how best to achieve a Carbon Neutral situation.
The biggest energy use at St James’ is heating, but lighting and kitchen appliances with be looked at as well.
The feasibility study will look at possible sources of renewable energy, including solar panels and heat pumps.  
This study will also look at the financial viability of proposed new options and will also assess life cycle costs.
Robert Haskins, who is leading the project on behalf of the church project team, said: “It’s great news but now the hard work starts.  
“And we need to think how we are going to pay for any of capital investment recommended.  
“We’ll be asking the consultant and the community about that!”
Five more churches in the Ripon area have also be successful in their joint RCEF bid. 
St Mary’s Embsay with Eastby, All Saints’ Burton in Lonsdale, St Mary’s Carleton, St Augustine’s Draughton and Holy Trinity Skipton are a representative selection of buildings and contexts.  
The group intends that their feasibility study should become a model, providing information and data from the case studies, which can be used by other churches and organisations.
The investigations, to be carried out by a consultant engineer, will take place over the next few months and the Feasibility Report is due in late 2021.  
The group has already started to consult locally and more widely and have received widespread support, both from individuals and organisations.
The project was launched at Holy Trinity Skipton on May 2, with a Climate Sunday service attended by the Bishop of Ripon, the Rt Revd Dr Helen-Ann Hartley.
This project is supported by the BEIS funded Rural Community Energy Fund which is managed by the North East Yorkshire and Humber Energy Hub and administered by Tees Valley Combined Authority.

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