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Church up for green award

PUBLISHED: 11:21 05 March 2011

Graham Gibbs with one of the solar panels that will be used on the roof of Emmanuel church hall, Bungay.


Photo: Nick Butcher

Copy: Dan Haynes

For:  BBJ

Archant © 2009

(01603) 772434

Graham Gibbs with one of the solar panels that will be used on the roof of Emmanuel church hall, Bungay. Photo: Nick Butcher Copy: Dan Haynes For: BBJ Archant © 2009 (01603) 772434

Archant © 2009

AN ambitious scheme to make a Bungay church greener has been short-listed for a prestigious award.

Some 220 solar panels were commissioned for the town’s Emmanuel Church last April and are generating electricity from the sun after being fixed to two roofs.

Organisers have been told that at present it is the largest community solar array in Suffolk.

The church has entered the Suffolk’s Greenest County Awards, and has been shortlisted for the Community Energy Project category, along with one other community group. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on March 24.

As well as generating its own electricity the church receives money for every unit from the government’s “feed-in tariff” scheme which provides payments over the next 25 years for electricity generated by solar energy.

Graham Gibbs, a church member who headed the £80,000 project, said the church is currently receiving an annual income of around £3,000, which is being set aside to continue to improve the energy efficiency of the buildings, and to promote environmental issues in Bungay and the surrounding areas.

Some £250 of this has been set aside towards the potential costs of organising an environmental information day called All Under One Roof on Saturday, July 16, in the Orange Hall.

Mr Gibbs said: “This event is completely free to the general public, and it is hoped that people will come and browse the various information stands – whether they want to learn the facts about global warming and climate change, or just want to clarify what rubbish they can put into their recycle bin.

“We have already received a lot of interest from individuals wishing to have a stand, or wanting to buy advertising space in our promotional brochure which will be distributed beforehand.

“We are hosting this event because we believe, as Christians, that God has created our wonderful world and mankind were supposed to look after it. Global warming and climate change are very real.

“Our aim for this event is to offer a wide range of environmental issues and different ideas for people to learn a little bit more about without any pressure, and to offer each person an opportunity to take one more step on their personal environmental journey, whether a complete novice or not.”

To find out more about the scheme or to get involved in the All Under One Roof event contact Mr Gibbs on 01379 852415 or email grahamofthepaddocks@talktalk.net

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