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/ 4 July 2017

Sustainable Church Buildings Project to help Islington churches cut energy use

The Bishop of Stepney attending the Cloudesley Service

To mark the 500th anniversary of Richard Cloudesley’s legacy in Islington, a new Sustainable Church Buildings Project has been launched to help Islington parishes reduce their energy use through the care and maintenance of their church buildings.

The project was launched on Thursday 29 June at a service at St Mary Islington, to mark the start of the Cloudesley charity’s 500th anniversary year.

The service was attended by 170 guests from local churches and voluntary sector organisations, as well as other Cloudesley contacts and friends including: the Deputy Lieutenant of Islington, Dr Charles Goodson-Wickes; the Mayor of Islington, Cllr Una O’Halloran; the Bishop of Stepney, the Right Revd Adrian Newman; the Archdeacon of Hackney, the Venerable Liz Adekunle; the Revd Simon Harvey, Vicar of St Mary Islington; and Maggie Elliott, Chair of Cloudesley.

The Bishop of Stepney preached on the subject ‘Faith, Hope and Charity, and the greatest of these is Charity’ – referring to St Paul in 1 Corinthians Ch 13. In addition to its Sustainable Church Buildings Project, the Charity is also making a similarly major grant for health and welfare purposes. Powerful music from the Vox Holloway Choir – settings of poems by William Blake – highlighted the plight of abandoned children in his time. The service concluded with Charles Wesley’s famous hymn ‘Love Divine, all Loves Excelling’.

Church audits and reports

The Sustainable Church Buildings Project includes environmental audits of church buildings, with written reports setting out recommendations for changes and adaptations to reduce energy use.

Funding from Cloudesley’s Anniversary Church Grants programme will provide grants for some of the recommended works and a learning programme will help raise awareness of environmental issues relating to church buildings across the Islington Deanery.

Cloudesley, an independent, endowed charitable trust, and the Diocese of London will provide support for participating churches to enable them to benefit fully from this project.

The Sustainable Church Buildings Project is a Cloudesley initiative undertaken in partnership with the Diocese of London and the Islington Deanery. The project has been developed by Cloudesley and the Diocese of London, building on the Diocese’s experience of the Two Cities Programme of Environmental audits. During 2009 and 2010, 60 churches in the Cities of London and Westminster were inspected as part of this programme. The reports which followed the audit inspections provided data on energy use, with recommendations to reduce the churches’ carbon footprints.

The Diocese of London’s Climate Action Programme supports churches in their contribution towards Route 2050 – the Diocese’s plan to reduce energy use and the carbon footprint of church buildings and property by 2050. The process of auditing church buildings in Islington will also be supported by the Diocese’s established system of Energy-saving Benchmarking.

The Climate Action Programme aims to cut carbon emissions of churches across the London Diocese by at least 42% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. The Sustainable Church Buildings Project will help Islington churches as they work towards these targets.

Aims and targets

The Sustainable Church Buildings Project aims to support churches in the Islington Deanery to:

  • Minimise the environmental impact of their church buildings by equipping churches to take the necessary steps to reduce their energy use
  • Contribute towards the Diocese of London’s energy use and carbon emissions targets and help to work towards delivery of Route 2050.

The project includes three elements:

  1. Environmental audits of 24 of Islington’s Church of England churches, with reports recommending improvements and adaptations for each participating church. A group report will also be written for the Deanery as a whole.
  2. Cloudesley grant funding to contribute towards aspects of the recommended works identified through the audit process
  3. A learning programme for churches in the Islington Deanery to raise awareness and understanding of environmental issues and how to apply this to their buildings.

To help deliver the Sustainable Church Buildings Project, practical support will be available from a part-time Anniversary Project & Grants Officer, employed by Cloudesley. Technical support will be provided by the Diocese’s Head of Environment and Sustainability.

Next steps

During Summer 2017, Cloudesley will make direct contact with each eligible church to provide further information about the Sustainable Church Buildings Project and the audit process.


Cloudesley – the Charity of Richard Cloudesley – is an independent, endowed charitable trust. The Charity provides grants to Church of England churches in the Islington Deanery, as well as to Islington residents with a health condition who are in financial need, and to the organisations that support them. Cloudesley’s Church Object allows grants to be made towards the upkeep and repair of the fabric of, and the maintenance of services in, the Church of England Churches in the London Borough of Islington.

From July 2017 until June 2018, the Charity will be celebrating the 500th anniversary of Richard Cloudesley’s bequest. As part of the anniversary year, £625,000 of additional grant funding for the churches will be available, including through the Sustainable Church Buildings Project.

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