archyworldys

Churches in the heating crisis: ceiling instead of heating – mountains of hate

***

Worship in the parish hall has been practiced in the Evangelical Lutheran parish of Ebern for many years. There is enough space for 30 to 40 churchgoers, reports Mrs. Anne Scharpf. Without knowing any numbers, she is certain: “We are making enormous savings in energy costs.” This will also happen in the Christ Church, which is currently in the renovation phase. “We are currently installing”, explains her colleague Katrin Ruppert, “a new seat heater with individually controllable technology”. They insulated the outside of the building and installed new, contemporary windows. Something very special is planned for Christmas: “Service in the courtyard of the town hall, where the crib is set up.” The Catholic parish in Gädheim will also celebrate the Christmas service outdoors. The congregation was impressed by this last year, reports Pastor Lutz, that they are repeating what was essential at the time due to the corona this winter.

***

Pastor Stephan Eschenbacher heads the parish of St. Kilian in Hassfurt; he writes that the current motto is not to turn off the heating completely, but to heat it at a reduced rate, for example only immediately during church service times. According to Cornelia Winterstein-Bötsch, the Evangelical Lutheran parish of Gleisenau is going in the same direction. Their environmental officer puts it in a nutshell: “We don’t dare to do without the heating completely: Attendance at church services isn’t that strong anyway, no matter how cold the temperatures are, we’re afraid, and the few who still come, too to lose.” However, in the three churches, all equipped with electric bench heating, the heating time would be shortened and the rows of benches to be heated would be adapted to the number of visitors. “We turn the pew heater on ten to fifteen minutes before the service begins and turn it off again about thirty minutes after it begins.”

***

“With us,” explains Pastor Eschenbacher, “the church administrations determine how the churches are heated in winter.” Christian Lutz, “that there are no uniform regulations.” For Katrin Ruppert, it is important that the goal of saving energy is not lost again after the winter of 2022/2023, that sustainable action becomes established as a long-term, self-evident strategy in church districts. She relies on communication for this, you have to listen to ideas, explore possibilities. Her forecast, but only after Corona, is: “If only the front rows of seats are heated, we will all move closer together.”

Trending