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/ 3 November 2011

Installation of solar panels at Islington church

St Mary’s Church, Upper Street, Islington, has installed over one hundred solar panels to generate electricity in one of the largest green energy installations in the borough. On the brightest days, the panels will generate enough electricity to power 2000 low-energy light bulbs.

The Revd Simon Harvey, Vicar at the St Mary’s, said:

"The savings from solar energy will enable us to use much more of our income for our work in Islington. We’re delighted that when the sun really shines, we’ll be exporting our surplus energy to supply others, through the electricity grid. We use our buildings for the community seven days a week and it’s great to think we’ve added power-generation to our range of activities."

The panels use the latest technology and are predicted to eliminate around 9 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year, as well as creating savings for the church. Under a government-backed scheme, the church should receive a dividend for every unit of clean energy produced.

Mr Harvey added:

"It’s a real blessing to have free energy from the heavens, so to speak. We’ve been working for a long time with Islington Council and the Diocese of London to support their aims for renewable energy. At a time when everyone is under a lot of cost pressure the savings we expect will mean that what we have for the work we do will go just a bit further. Through the Islington Climate Change Fund, the council made a very significant grant to the costs of the project and we are very grateful for this."

Lucy Padfield, Islington Council’s Energy Services Manager, said:

"We’re very pleased to have helped with this landmark project that will help save money for community projects and cut carbon dioxide emissions."

Brian Cuthbertson, Head of Environmental Challenge at the London Diocese, said:

"I congratulate St Mary’s Church and its Vicar and PCC on bringing this splendid project to completion. Sunshine could satisfy the world’s hunger for electricity many times over, if everyone followed their example! The people of Islington can now catch a glimpse from their High Street of how St Mary’s new solar panels are contributing to our energy salvation – whilst preserving their view of a much loved local landmark."

The Archdeacon of Hackney, the Venerable Rachel Treweek, is due to join the church and other supporters at a special service on Sunday 4 December at 11am, and to give thanks for the project.

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The diocesan communications team provides support to the network of clergy, churches, parishes and other worshipping communities that comprises the Diocese of London, as well as to the staff teams of the London Diocesan Fund.

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