While in college I did an internship at a Church of England parish in London. Every Sunday evening we met for prayer in a room in the church building. What little central heating there was came from radiators that seemed positively perturbed at being asked to radiate much of anything. As a result we prayed huddled around an electric space heater.
Heating building–generally–is a rather less efficient business than cooling them. It costs a lot of money, especially in buildings designed prior to the advent of modern central heating. This is problem that evangelicals in North America have little experience with, at least where I live. Our buildings are custom-designed for the maximum comfort of parishioners–climate controlled, theater seating, you name it. Elsewhere, it’s a real challenge.
The BBC reports that a diocese of the Church of England will introduce heated cushions to two of its churches in an attempt both to keep parishioners warm and to reduce heating costs:
One hundred cushions are being trialled in Broadclyst and South Tawton’s Anglican churches for three months.
Designed for use by sports fans, the cushions are part of a campaign to cut carbon emissions and look at new heating systems for church buildings.
If the scheme works, the cushions could be rolled out across the county.
Sounds like it’s worth a try, except, how do you heat all of those cushions? In a microwave in the vestry?