As global warming concerns increase worldwide, over 5,500 churches across the UK have converted to renewable power to combat climate change. In the context, some of the UK’s most famous cathedrals have also placed faith in clean electricity with church leaders encouraging more to follow suit.
The switch to 100% renewable electricity includes the Church of England places of worship and also includes congregations such as Baptist, Catholic, Quaker and Salvation Army, and Methodist. Furthermore, around 15 Anglican cathedrals inclusive of the Coventry and York Minster, Liverpool, Salisbury, Southwark, and St Albans are among the buildings that are signed up to green electricity tariffs. The church leaders have warned that climate change is one of the great moral challenges that hurt the poor first and worst. Meanwhile, Dr Rowan Williams, Christian Aid chairman reiterated that churches are a part of a global network and are often aware of the plight of their brothers and sisters suffering from floods, droughts, and extreme weather around the world.
According to sources, the average annual church electricity bill is approximately £1,000 and the British churches have rerouted an estimated £5 million to clean energy providers from fossil fuels. The number of cathedrals running on 100% renewable electricity is down to the procurement group, Parish Buying, of the Church of England switching to 100% renewables from its bulk electricity basket. Meanwhile, other churches have chosen to make the move through the Big Church Switch campaign that is run by the Environmental Programme of the Church of England including the Christian charities Christian Aid and Tearfund. And, in the context of negotiating the cheapest possible tariff, the parishes can sign up to the national church buying group, 2buy2, which collects the combined buying power to make the negotiations.
Furthermore, the Church of England’s lead bishop on the environment, Bishop of Salisbury Nicholas Holtam stated that it was fantastic to see that churches were doing their bit to ensure reducing their impact on the environment. And, Dr Williams urged the Government to set a target to cut the UK emissions to zero by 2050 so that Britain would be poised as a climate leader abroad.