Judith Allinson writes:-
I’m going to tell you about the Eco-Features we discovered when a group of us visited Baildon Methodist Church: (One member suggested writing it up- she thought people from her church might like to come. And so might others)
Eco-Walk and visit to Baildon Eco Church 11 April 2017 – Improvements to Baildon Church
The event had three parts:
1. Eco – walk – ( Prayer/Meditation/Discussion/Discovery Walk / Geography Trip / Botany Trip all rolled into into one)
(Pictures 1:- the walk iteslf: including stunning views of cliffs, Bradford City, a mist of green as the birch tree buds break )
Pictures 2: What I saw on a “recce” the week beforehand
2. Sharing of ideas and activities.
3. Tour of Baildon Methodist Church to see the eco- features installed – and to hear the work and plans involved in getting it to happen… Wow – it is still a work progressing with much to happen in the future too.
I’d arranged the morning with John Anderson and Alan Rogers of said church; John had been Eco-Officer of the church for 5 years back in 2006. Alan was chairman of just one of the many groups that use the church – Baildon Speakers Club. The current Eco-Officer, Mervyn Flecknoe was away so unable to attend our visit. I can see that a lot of work has gone into the place by members of the congregation.
So, come round the church with us:
Garden: Lawn, garden and forty fruit trees:
The church has a lawn (which had formerly been a graveyard area) and small garden strip next to it. Forty fruit trees have been planted. They have been pruned, and garden flowers and bulbs are also planted between the trees. We found Common Dog-violet flowers in the lawn.
The communal area/ coffee lounge (between the church worship room and the other rooms) had had outside doors at either end. A gale would blow up the hill in one door and out the other. Now a Glass porch had been built the north-west end. At the south-east end the door had had a several millimietres wide slit that let the wind in, and John explained how he had gone to a lot of effort to get a metal strip built to draft-proof it.
The church had solar panels installed promptly in c 2011 so they are fortunate to receive a good tariff. The church uses money from this tariff to install other eco-features such as LED lights
The church now gets its electricity from Good Energy – This company gets all its electricity from renewable resources.
Baildon has now replaced all its old lighting whether energy efficient flourescent lighting or old fashioned tungsten lighting with LED lights. (I’ve just replaced my own 70W kitchen fluorescent tube with a 35W LED 8 ft tube. It’s not quite as bright, but still bright. – So at home I will be saving money – It is good that at last the LEDs are getting bright enough.
Church Heating – by infra-red radiation
The church (worship room) had been heated by a gas boiler until recently – the church had tried hard to cut gas usage but failed. Now they have far infra red radiators and the electricity used is from renewable energy. Infra red- radiators are useful in tall buildings. This is because the radiators high on the walls and they heat the floor and furniture (and people who happen to be there) – by radiation, but do not waste energy heating the air in between.
Normal radiators actually act mostly by convection (even though they are called radiators): – they heat the air – the hot air then rises to the ceiling (taking dust with it) and more cold air comes in and cold air stays near the ground. If your electricity supply is from renewable energy, and your building is well insulated, (and you don’t have enough money for ground source heating) then these are an efficient form of heating.
Here John shows us the LED lights and Infra Red radiators on the church walls.
The church now has plans to remove the energy inefficient single story 1950’s temporary Marley Hut building and replace it with a two story, very low energy consumption “PassivHaus” building – They call it Vision 2020 Here is an architects drawing:- (You can “buy a brick” if you wish!!)
We sampled this!! They have a paid cook and lots of volunteers who run the Wesley Café with lunches on weekdays and coffee on Saturday mornings. – this is an excellent service for the community. It includes Fair Trade food. It makes good use of the rooms and facilities.
We chatted over lunch and shared ideas. Christine told us about Zero Carbon Harrogate, and also about the Hildegard de Bingen courses she has run. John gave us sheets with statistics about the energy use of the church, and a map of the forty fruit trees planted. He gave us a sheet telling of the story and work involved in the greening of the church – which I have used to make another post here (Maybe we need to plan another trip when the fruit are ripe!! ) All too quickly it was 1pm. Four of us then joined in with one of the user groups at the Church – Baildon Speakers Club – for two hours and the others went home.
I hope you enjoyed your tour round the church with us.