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St Wulfram’s Church in Grantham appeals for community help with £60,000 solar panel project

Grantham’s largest church is appealing for community help after announcing a £60,000 solar panel project as it aims for carbon neutrality.


St Wulfram’s Church has revealed details of a project to add 78 solar panels to the central nave roof and north aisle roof.


Planning permission to install the solar panels on the Grade I-listed building was approved conditionally by South Kesteven District Council in February.


An impression of what the solar panels at St Wulfram's could look like.


Currently, it costs £500 per day on average to keep St Wulfram’s open and with the estimated cost of the energy project said to be around £60,000, the church team plans to raise most of the funds through grants and donations.


However, they hope to meet a quarter of the cost of the project with the help of the community.


A spokesperson for St Wulfram’s said: “Through sponsorship we are hoping to raise 25 per cent of the money required for this project, which is where we are hoping the local community can assist.


“To help make this project possible we are inviting you to become a sponsor, either through sponsoring a single cell or an eighth of a panel (each panel is constructed of 120 photovoltaic cells).


“Sponsorship doesn't just have to be for yourself. You could sponsor on behalf of someone else or on behalf of a company or organisation. There’s no limit to the number of cells or eighths that you can sponsor.


“In recognition of your generous sponsorship the sponsor’s name will be added to the sponsors list on this board, and in our parish magazine – don't worry, you can stay anonymous if you would prefer.”


Father Stuart Cradduck, rector of St Wulfram’s, touched on the environmental aspect of the solar panels project.


He said: “Care for a planet is a global priority and we are committed to doing everything we can to help reduce our carbon footprint and the installation of these solar panels is just one way in which are trying to do our bit.


“The global rise in sea levels is not simply the problem of other countries around the world, it is something that will significantly affect us in Lincolnshire.


“Alongside reducing our carbon footprint, it also bring us the benefit of drastically reducing our utilities, which, like everyone, the cost has hit us hard.”


Although the project will cost approximately £60,000, the savings made on energy bills should offset this within three to four years.


The spokesperson said: “This project will not only help us move closer to becoming carbon neutral it will also play an important part in helping us reduce our expenses.


“Once fitted, the savings we make should mean that the project will have paid for itself withing the first three to four years.”


St Wulfram’s has underlined its commitment to becoming carbon neutral, after the General Synod (the national assembly of the Church of England) voted in favour of a plan, called the Routemap, to become net zero by 2030.


However, St Wulfram’s said the work carried out must “respect the parameters of our Grade I-listed building”.


Along with the solar panels, nine pylon tech lithium-ion batteries will also be installed, but will not be visible from the ground.


When the planning application for the solar panels was submitted back in December 2022, Grantham Civic Society was one of the bodies consulted.


The society's chair at the time, Courtney Finn, said: “The proposal is very welcome and will benefit the church from the feed in tariff payments and contribute to environmental savings.


“The church is Grade I-listed and our most precious building, but the solar panels, inverters and batteries will not be seen from ground level and so we give it our enthusiastic support.”


Sponsorship of a single cell is £2.50, while sponsorship of one eighth of a panel is £25.


To sponsor a cell, click here, and to sponsor an eighth of a panel, click here.


For more information on this project please contact kate.hough@stwulframs.com or ghcentre@stwulframs.com.


Source: granthamjournal.co.uk

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