A TOWN Methodist church congregation has been rewarded for its environmental teaching and actions.

Tavistock Methodists have been awarded a silver award under an international scheme to recognise how churches are addressing the environmental crisis, not only through worship and teaching, but also by how they run their churches and influence their communities.

The awards require churches to work their way from bronze upwards through to the top platinum certificate. The Methodist Churh has become more energy efficient and used more sustainable sources and resources in its kitchen, It is strong in engaging with the community on projects encouraging environmentally friendly behaviours through an influence in the wider community through Transition Tavistock and Tavistock Eco Fest and the town’s Big Green Weekend.

David Norman, of Tavistock Methodist Church, said the building presented challenges in adapting to become more energy efficient because it is listed, but other churches had the same issue and had fitted solar panels, for instance:‘We have fitted a more energy-efficient A-rated boiler and are using less energy by using the thermostat and the timer and loft insulation to best effect and trying to keep everyone warm, comfortable and happy at the same time, which is not always easy. We have also fitted LED lighting which use less electricity. We looked into fitting a heat pump using warm air from the ground to use as heating, but the cost was probibitive and we’d have been paying for many years.

‘We did have plans for solar panels to use sustainable energy for lighting and that should be feasible as another church in the town has managed it, despite the listed building status. But it’s been over taken by covid and the economic crisis combined, so costs and availability ruled that out, but I’m sure the congregation ands sponsorship can help out with that as a future possible plan.’