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City centre church to transform its energy use with major environmental project.

St Peter Mancroft Church in Norwich city centre is transforming its carbon footprint and energy use by replacing its entire interior lighting system and installing heat pumps as well as batteries and solar panels.

The environmental project is taking place over the next three months. Through this work, the church expects to see an 84% reduction in emissions by saving 60 tonnes of CO2 each year.

In July 2022, General Synod approved a routemap for the Church of England to strive to reach net zero carbon by 2030. The Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham Usher is lead bishop for environment for the Church of England. Bishop Graham says;

“I am delighted that the clergy and congregation at St Peter Mancroft have taken the journey to Net Zero Carbon seriously and have worked hard on ambitious plans. As a major historic building in the centre of Norwich, their work will have widespread interest  and hopefully help encourage other church communities to develop as well.”

The roots of this project at St Peter Mancroft began in 2017. It became apparent that the lighting in the Grade 1 listed church needed a complete overhaul to bring it up to date. The current inflexible sodium lights have been burning for decades. As part of this project, new LED lighting will be installed to replace the old lighting.

Revd Canon Edward Carter is the Vicar of St Peter Mancroft church. He has been instrumental in this project. Soon after he arrived at the church, one of the main gas boilers failed. It was another element which speeded up this major environmental project. Work began on installing solar panels on the southern roof in March 2024. The new LED lighting system, heat pumps and batteries will follow. The project is expected to be completed by the end of June 2024. Revd Edward said;

“It’s so satisfying to see this project finally come to fruition. It is a comprehensive project to a Grade 1 listed church at a time when the Net Zero agenda is one of the Church of England’s top priorities. The entire installation process is being filmed for use as a resource for other parishes who may want to be doing this themselves.”

The team at St Peter Mancroft say there will be little disruption to the congregation and the general public, and little visual impact from the panels. You can read all about the project in panels at the back of the church.

The project has been overseen from start to finish by Nicholas Jackson, a conservation accredited building surveyor and architectural designer who is also the church’s fabric officer and the Managing Director of Nicholas Vanburgh Ltd. Nick says;

“I am hugely excited that after years of careful planning and finding our way through the uncharted permissions process, this project is finally going to become a reality. It is immensely satisfying to be able to have a collective impact on our carbon footprint – much larger than can be achieved at an individual level – and to be able to provide both an inspiration and potential pathway for other churches and communities to follow.” 

All photos by Tile Media

Revd Canon Edward Carter standing outside St Peter Mancroft Church in Norwich.