5,500 UK churches of all denominations have embraced the shift to renewable energy.
According to UK charity Christian Aid, thousands of Catholic, Baptist, Quaker, and Methodist churches are sourcing 100% of their energy needs through green energy tariffs.
Christian energy group 2buy2 says that the average British church spends roughly $1,300 (£1,000) on electricity annually. By sourcing all of their energy needs through wind and solar, the religious collective is diverting roughly $6.5 million (£5 million) from fossil fuels.
Nicholas Holtam, the Bishop of Salisbury and the Church of England’s lead bishop on the environment, said: “Climate change is one of the great moral challenges of our time and so it’s fantastic to see churches doing their bit to ensure they reduce their impact on the environment.”
“They are also giving a boost to clean energy which is essential to reduce harmful carbon emissions,” he added. “Climate change is an enormous injustice and is hurting the poor first and worst. Switching to responsible sources of electricity may seem like a small thing on its own, but when joined together it can make a real difference.”
The shift is reportedly being encouraged through several initiatives, such as the Church of England’s Parish Buy group: an organization that facilitates competitive pay rates for churches through UK-based energy sources. Additionally, the Big Church Switch campaign, which is run by the Christian Aid, Tearfund, and the Church of England’s Environment Program, has been calling on churches of all denominations to make the switch from fossil fuels to alternative energy.
Some churches have even started sourcing their own energy – in 2016, Gloucester Cathedral installed 150 solar panels on their rooftop.
“We would recommend doing it, as it can be a part of the church’s giving and good stewardship,” says Philip Bowdler, church leader at Amott Road Baptist Church in London. “Taking this action is an expression of what it means to be disciples and to care for the world God has created.”
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