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Church Commissioners

Volume 697: debated on Thursday 17 June 2021

The hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, was asked—

Net Zero Target

We estimate that the net carbon footprint for our church buildings is 12.5% lower than in 2006. We have developed an energy footprint tool, which has been shortlisted for an award at this year’s Energy Awards, and 38% of our parishes have engaged with the footprint tool. I suggest to my hon. Friend that she encourages parishes in her constituency to do so as well.

I am sure that my hon. Friend would agree that small rural churches, of which there are many in my North Devon constituency, have an important role to play in hitting net zero. I know many congregants who are keen to do more with their local church to help. Will he explain what the Government are doing to promote the role that individuals and small rural churches can play together in this national issue?

I am delighted to be able to tell my hon. Friend that the diocese of Exeter has just received a £1 million grant from the Church for its Growing the Rural Church project. She could encourage local churches to join the Eco Church scheme and suggest that they move to a renewable electricity supplier. For those fit enough to cycle to church, she might ask them about where bikes could be left securely during services.