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Vine goes Green

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Vine goes Green

A work in progress

Posted on Thursday, July 4, 2024

As part of our concern to care for creation, in 2015, vine formed a small eco action group to help us to move towards becoming an eco church.

We had an eco action day in 2017. We developed a community gardening project with our land. We supported a local community group to set up an energy cafe, and we worked in partnership with our local interfaith forum to run several large events to raise awareness about climate change and how faith groups can become active in this.

We achieved an equal church bronze award, but wanted to reach silver energy. Saving in our buildings was the main area we needed to address in order to do this.

So a couple of years ago we got an expert in to do an energy audit and he gave us some good ideas about the measures that would help us to save most energy.

Our energy advisor explained that 36% of heat loss is through the roof and 13% through the walls.

So he recommended that we insulate the walls and roofs of our large and small halls, as well as install these stratification fans to push warm air downwards.

By doing these improvements, we would say 46% of our heat loss and use 25% less energy.

He also recommended that we install solar panels on the roof of our south facing large hall.

To get us going, we got funding from the Veolia Environmental Trust, which can be [email protected] and London Community Energy Fund. And this can be found by doing a quick Google search. These funds are open to community and faith buildings in a catchment area.

We also got a grant from Synod. We made connections with URC Synod property Officers, David and Sasha. They suggested we point an architect to look at our buildings as a whole, as none of us had professional backgrounds.

The architect helped us to think about the years ahead and what changes we need to make for buildings sustainable.

Sasha and David also encouraged us to look at how our buildings help us with our church's mission and apply for additional funding from the UR C'S Eco Grants Fund.

It wasn't all plain sailing. Although we were successful with our applications, we discovered that some structural work needed to be done to strengthen the roof work was delayed and sometimes it felt as if we were standing still and that we had lost control.

But the work finally began in January, 2024. And now finally, the work is complete.

And to celebrate the reopening of our spaces, we held an eco action day where the URC very forum and local community came together.

Vine Church is very proud of the work we are doing to heat and generate solar energy in our buildings. It's been a big task involving a lot of energy and it has taken much longer than we thought.

But working together and being strengthened by our faith, we have taken the first steps.

It takes a while, but it can be done. There is frustration, but there is also hope.

So don't be daunted. Have a go.

Retreat for youth workers

Retreat for youth workers

Posted on Thursday, July 18, 2024

Bookings are open for URC Children's Workers Conference, taking place from 1-3 November

Vacancy - Safeguarding Officer

Vacancy - Safeguarding Officer

Posted on Friday, July 5, 2024

We are seeking to appoint a Safeguarding Officer for maternity cover.

Urgent election message

Urgent election message

Posted on Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Think voting is a waste of time? Think again!

Children and Youth Advocate required

Children and Youth Advocate required

Posted on Thursday, May 2, 2024

The Synod is looking to appoint a CYA on a voluntary basis.

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