We were delighted to come across this new item from the church magazine "In Touch" from Cheltenham United Reformed Church, written by Carol Drummond. Let's have all your eco news so we can upload it to this blog - send to email@example.com
The Bicycle Stands at St Andrew’s are now installed at the entrance on Montpellier Street and are being well used. Thanks to the property committee and Marcus in particular for organizing the installation and to Ann Lewis who originally sourced the stands.
On Saturday 29th July, I attended a 1/2 day training event on Warmer Cheltenham at St Andrew’s organized by Vision 21.
Firstly, Dan Stone from the Centre for Sustainable Energy in Bristol gave us an introduction to energy efficiency, focusing on older dwellings of the sort we have in Cheltenham. He talked about the differences between modern buildings and historic / traditional buildings. I was surprised to learn that Cheltenham has a higher than average % of fuel poverty (11.4% compared to 10% nationally). Dan told us there is a proven link between fuel poverty and older homes. He talked about the importance of taking a whole house approach and we split into groups to identify the most effective means of tackling energy efficiency vs complexity. Often it is the relatively small and simple things such as fitting an insulating jacket to a hot water tank which make a big difference. We noticed that these were often also relatively cheap.
Peter and Alison then took us through the web site. Warmer Cheltenham’ is essentially a proof of concept which empowers the homeowner by helping them to understand the opportunities available to them, what permissions may be needed and get a better understanding of what to consider.
This will enable you to have more informed conversations, for example, with builders. There are case studies available and you can compile a personalized report on items of interest.
See the Warmer.org.uk website for more information or come and talk to me.
I’m also pleased to report that the church’s spare amplifier was restored to life by a Repair Café volunteer and returned to us to use another day.
Just a quick update following a meeting between me (Kevin Snyman), Howard Hutchings and Steve discussing our Eco Synod Proposal, which will be tabled at the October Residential Synod meeting.
We decided it would make sense to simplify the proposal, and we think it is much better. It now leaves scope for wider action after it is adopted (assuming it will be). We will present the proposal alongside the URC environmental policy, so that those with questions can start with that document for answers.
Obviously, once we have become an Eco Synod, there will have to be a process in place to make sure we fulfil some or all of the criteria of being an Eco Synod.
But in addition to to that, we will want a 'next step', some creative thinking and action around our unique context and skill base: what SPECIFIC things can we offer to make the Synod more eco conscious, and environmentally sustainable? What training? What actions? What principles to work by?
My question: would you consider being part of a small team that will get together to do some blue sky thinking and implementation of it's ideas? The group will set its own terms of reference and time frames (say, one year, or 18 months etc.)
I'm being a bit vague about the size/remit makeup of this group, because I don't know what it will do at this stage, only that it will be necessary. Also, in true non-conformist fashion, want the group to decide for itself what it can and cannot offer.
We have VERY skilled and passionate eco people in our Synod, who can decided these things for themselves, and it would be good to harness some of that energy.
Please let me know if you'd be up for such a group, or know of someone who might.