St Andrew’s in Redruth has been one of the first churches to benefit as part of a new scheme to provide energy efficiency audits in the Diocese of Truro. 

St Andrew’s is a large and active town-centre church, which serves as a focal point for local community activities. 

Its grade II-listed building was built in the 19th century. Today its energy efficiency efforts are being spearheaded by parishioners David and Joan Doble. 

Both are passionate in their concern for the natural environment and appreciate that people are starting to understand the urgency of the situation. 

“I think most people now realise that climate change is a big issue,” said David. 

“We try to make the congregation and the community aware of their carbon footprints, and encourage them to do things, even if it’s only small things at home, to reduce, reuse and recycle,” added Joan. “We’re doing it not only for ourselves but for our children and grandchildren, and for future generations.” 

St Andrew’s has recently earned an Eco Church award in recognition of their efforts, which have involved local children and communities in green initiatives. 

Joan and David feel it is especially important that their church sets a good example in reducing its own carbon footprint. 

“It’s not all about replacing boilers straight away,” Joan explained. “But we’ve got to be aware of what we’ll need to replace when our heating system breaks down in the future. 

“For now, we’re concentrating on the lighting, on warming the people rather than the space, and on getting our congregation to do what they can do at home.” 

Sustainability expert Matt Fulford advises the Church of England nationally on its plans to reach carbon net zero by 2030. It was his company that conducted the energy audit at St Andrew’s. 

“A lot of churches think that getting to net zero is incredibly difficult, especially within a listed historic building,” he said. 

“The audit’s there to demonstrate what can be done, and in most cases it’s possible to fully decarbonise those buildings.” 

Matt points out that a large church can be responsible for up to approximately 40 tons of carbon emissions each year, and that by acting locally churches can make a big overall difference.  

“Every ton of carbon matters. The population of the world is now about eight billion. Pretty much every single one of those people will need to take their own individual action,” he said.