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Sustainability

From 2005 we have transformed our Meeting House and wardens’ bungalow into low carbon, sustainable buildings. We were recognized in 2009 for this achievement when we became an Eco Congregation; in 2016 A Rocha UK awarded us Silver Eco Church status, and in 2019 we achieved the highest level, Gold Eco Church status.

Other choices we make in leading our lives can be as important to our planet’s future than the fossil fuels our buildings use. More important than greening our building, as a community we worked to “green” our own lifestyles.

Gold Eco Church

History of Energy Use and Saving in our Buildings

In 2004 we used 52,873 kWh to heat and light our building.

In 2005 we switched our provider from British Gas to Good Energy (100% green electricity). Although our electricity was now coming from renewable sources, we wished to reduce our actual usage. That would release “green” electricity for others to use.

Between 2005 and 2010 we:

  • Changed old tungsten bulbs & fluorescent strips to LED.
  • Changed storage heaters to air-to-air air source heat pumps.
  • Fixed 55mm of insulation to the insides of our solid walls.
  • Put a new “warm roof” over our old felted roof.
  • Double glazed about 50 windows.
  • Installed 60 solar PV panels

In 2009 Cotteridge Meeting became an Eco Congregation.

In 2016 we:

  • Added external insulative cladding to the wardens’ bungalow.
  • Reduced the size of the bungalow windows and triple glazed many.
  • Installed 15 solar PV panels on the bungalow roof.

We were granted silver Eco Church status by A Rocha.

The meeting now buys about 11,000 kWh a year from Good Energy, but generates about 12,400 kWh, about 9,000 kWh from PV on the meeting house and 3,400 kWh from PV on the warden’s bungalow.

See a graph of improvements in heating, lighting, insulation and electricity generation 2004-2017.

In 2016 we:

  • Added external insulative cladding to the wardens’ bungalow.
  • Reduced the size of the bungalow windows and triple glazed many.
  • Installed 15 solar PV panels on the bungalow roof.

We were granted silver Eco Church status by A Rocha.

The meeting now buys about 11,000 kWh a year from Good Energy, but generates about 12,400 kWh, about 9,000 kWh from PV on the meeting house and 3,400 kWh from PV on the warden’s bungalow.

See a graph of improvements in heating, lighting, insulation and electricity generation 2004-2017.

The Path to Gold

Eco Church is a project of A Rocha UK, a Christian charity working for the protection and restoration of the natural world. Churches respond to questions in an online survey about how they are caring for the earth. Points are awarded in five areas: Worship and Teaching, Buildings, Land, Community and Global Engagement, and Lifestyle. Applicants are awarded Bronze, Silver, or Gold status depending on their point scores.

in 2017, Cotteridge Meeting committed to working toward Gold status. We had already scored very well in the Buildings category. Now we needed to improve our scores in the other areas.

Worship and Teaching

Caring for God’s Earth is featured in our meetings, in our church’s youth work, in our children’s work, as a focus in small group study, and frequently in our communications.

Land

We encourage native wildlife on our land by providing feeding stations and growing plants that are beneficial to them. We grow fruits and vegetables on our land and avoid the use of harmful chemicals. We encourage our members and members of the local community to use our land for recreation and contemplation.

Community and Global

We engage with local leaders on local and global environmental issues. We founded and supported the Northfield Eco Centre and have worked with other sustainability movements. We host green fairs and organize events for local people to get out and enjoy nature. We participate in local and national environmental campaigns. We encourage the use of locally grown or fairtrade, organic and vegan foods and ingredients.

Lifestyle

We encourage walking, cycling, and general reduction of car use. We encourage members to reduce energy consumption and limit waste (reduce, reuse, recycle).

Here's How Cotteridge Quakers Scored in Each Category to Earn a Gold Award:

Worship
and Teaching
81 / 100
Buildings
323 / 385
Land
125 / 155
Global &
Community
185 / 230
Lifestyle
124 / 160
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