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St Clement’s plans to warm up and go green

St Clement’s has been working hard with the Anchor Project to prepare a plan to warm up our building, both literally and metaphorically. We are now at the point where we would usually pin up a notice on our church door to have a consultation period for our plans now they’ve been agreed by the church planning authority. As we’re in lockdown, we have been asked to tell of our plans on our website and social media instead, in case there are any objections.

13 November 2020

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Our old heating system died before lockdown - Anchor Project had already started the application to help fund new heating as we suspected it had a limited life. More importantly, we have not been able to heat the choir vestry, now the Anchor Project office, separately, and so have had to rely on heaters because of the prohibitive cost. We have now got our faculty - church planning permission - for introducing new airsource heat pump heating to the church We want to use this new technology because it is both far greener than our existing gas heating and even with an electric slave boiler it will be an investment which pays for itself within 10 years, radically reducing our heating bills. Anchor Project do the vast majority of their face to face work (outside covid) in the back rooms at the west end of the church. We hope to heat the two ends of the church first and to include the basement which will give us some much needed extra storage

Secondly, we want to upgrade our toilets, which are usually used at least six days a week in termtime, and improve access to them. Since beginning the project we have discovered serious leaks in the vestry toilet and are going to need to replace its roof and repair the wall which it shares with the Anchor Project office.

Thirdly we want to improve access to the building by levelling the threshold to the north entrance (used as our main entrance and facing Barkerend Road), correcting the ramp to the correct angle, putting in steps directly in front of the door and removing some of the railings to create a more welcoming entrance.

Fourthly, we want to build an internal glass porch which will help keep the heat in and the wind out, direct people on entrance away from where worship and other events are being led, and allow us to leave the door open so that people can see the church for the hive of activity it really is. Building this will also allow us to improve the chapel which it adjoins.

Obviously the actual implementation of all these plans depends on funding. We are in the process of making an application to Reaching Communities in partnership with an Anchor Project bid, and are approaching other funders too, especially as the renewal of the heating to nave and chancel is beyond the scope of this bid, and we have no guarantee that they will fund all of it.

This is the first phase of current round of works we want to undertake to make our beautiful building more sustainable as well as more welcoming. None of the work interferes with the Grade II* listed design of the church or its wonderful arts and crafts features and will help to protect them as a cold old building deteriorates more quickly. We want it to be well used and these works help that to be more practical.

If you have any queries about the scheme, please contact Rev Rosy Fairhurst at or Indi Elcock, Leader of the Anchor Project at If you have any concerns about the project, please contact the Diocesan Registrar’s office at by 14th December, 2020

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