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Our Lady of Perpetual Succour & St Edmund Church in Hunstanton installs solar panels to follow Pope’s advice





A town church has put a whopping £27,000 towards the installment of solar panels in a bid to reduce costs – and to follow the Pope’s advice.

In what they hope is a progressive step towards sustainability, members of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour & St Edmund Church in Hunstanton have embraced solar energy.

Installed by Solar Energy Solutions Norfolk, the panels are expected to last for around 25 years – and potentially even longer. It is hoped that this longevity ensures sustained benefits for the parish, both environmentally and financially.

Stuart Grant (left) and Chris Davey (right) with some of the solar panels at the Hunstanton church. Picture: Joshua Clovis/rcdea.org.uk
Stuart Grant (left) and Chris Davey (right) with some of the solar panels at the Hunstanton church. Picture: Joshua Clovis/rcdea.org.uk

Stuart Grant, a parish treasurer who is involved in the initiative, said: “To simply reduce the electrical costs to the church and the church house, and also from an environmental standpoint, as encouraged by Pope Francis, we believe it is right that we make whatever contribution we can to the achievement of net zero carbon emissions.”

With a total investment of £27,000 – without any grant assistance – the parish has demonstrated its confidence in the long-term viability of solar energy.

“We have the finances available, we felt this was the best way to use the available finances,” Chris Davey, the Parish Civil Engineering advisor and a member of the Parish Steering Group, added.

The project includes 27 solar panels, which will contribute toward the electrical usage of the parish. The addition of battery storage enhances the system’s flexibility – a key feature given the church’s variable energy needs.

“That gives us the opportunity to store any power when the excess is there, and then use it as and when, particularly for the church,” Mr Grant said.

“Our intention is to try and maximise the way that we use whatever power is available.”

However, the church has retained a “pragmatic approach” by keeping the gas heating system as a backup, ensuring no disruption to its services.

Mr Bell says that estimates indicate the church should get a return on the investment over roughly 10-12 years.

Funding for this significant undertaking came directly from parishioners’ contributions over the years, without specific fundraising efforts for the solar panels.

“Our parish has a relatively elderly demographic and they are incredibly generous towards the church and the local community,” Mr Bell added.



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