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Solar panels planned for Rous Lench church

Published: 20th December 2023

St Peter's Church in Rous LenchSt Peter’s Church in Rous Lench, just outside Evesham, has been given permission to install solar panels on the roof of their Grade 1 listed church. The panels will be part of a major project to reimagine the church as a multi-purpose community space, with the parish ensuring the project is as environmentally friendly as possible.

Lloyd Wing is Treasurer and Project Lead for the reordering and renovation. He said: “There has been no significant work on the church for quite a while and it was suffering with water ingress. We hope that this project will help secure the long-term future of the building and make it as sustainable as possible. The changes we have planned will improve the functionality and ambience of the building and enable it to have a wider community use.”

The parish have worked in conjunction with the diocesan Church Buildings team and architect Victoria Poole from Poole Phillips Associates, who provided advice on how to make the changes and work towards net zero Carbon.  Alongside the solar panels, which will be mostly invisible from ground level, the church is hoping to install underfloor heating powered by air-source heat pumps, a café area, toilets and even a shower!

Rector, Richard Thorniley said: “There will continue to be a worship space around the chancel along with a much more flexible space behind this. As well as a café, our plan is to have an artisan centre and be able to offer the ability for visitors to stay or ‘camp’ in the church …hence the shower!”

The parish are now embarking on a considerable fundraising campaign to enable all the changes to happen.

Richard continued: “It’s a significant investment, but we’ve got the support of the wider community, and it was very important to us that we were as green as possible when deciding what to do. We are fortunate that there is a big area of our roof suitable for the solar panels.”

“Anything that we do to the building will be sensitively done,” said Lloyd. “But most importantly this project will help to future-proof the church and ensure it can be used by many more people in the local area.”

Mark Carter, church buildings officer, celebrated the permissions being granted: “It is great to see both Faculty and Planning Permission granted for the re-ordering works, in particular the installation of solar panels and air-source heat pumps, to this wonderful 800-year old church building.  I look forward to working with the PCC to attain their fundraising target and to see the restored church in operation in the near future.”

Page last updated: Wednesday 20th December 2023 11:02 AM

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