Pioneering eco church building opened

12 November 2019

A virtually carbon neutral church hall has opened in Baildon, Bradford, West Yorkshire. Named the Fold, the new building at Baildon Methodist Church is believed to be the first of its kind built to standards similar to those of a Passivhaus on church premises in Britain.

At the building’s opening, the Revd Kerry Tankard, Chair of the Yorkshire West Methodist District, referred to the building’s low carbon footprint, saying it, “sits lightly on the earth”.

In order to comply with the government’s target of net zero carbon dioxide emissions, a number of state of the art construction techniques were incorporated into the build including enhanced insulation, 8 kWpeak photovoltaic electricity-generating panels fitted on the roof and triple-glazing  throughout.

John Anderson, Trustee of Baildon Methodist Church, said:

“Both Parliament and Bradford Council have declared a climate emergency. Baildon Methodist Church is not just wringing its hands over this, not just talking about it: it has acted.

“The design of the Fold challenges those constructing new buildings to reach the same standards so that we may meet the government’s targets of net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.”

The upper level of the two storey building will offer free lets to some groups such as the Scouts and Guides. The Lower level has been planned with the 40-year-old Baildon Preschool in mind.  The spaces will be available for hire when not occupied by these groups. 

The church has raised over £800,000 in the last 10 years to cover the costs of the building.

Director of Property Support for the Methodist Church, Stephen Hetherington, said:

 “The Methodist Church nationally is committed to reducing its overall carbon footprint through its Connexional Property Strategy and this scheme is a perfect example of how this can be achieved.”

“The building tackles some of the most important challenges of our time – climate change and renewable energy. It is heartening to see a Methodist community leading the way.

“The Fold is a wonderful facility for both for the church and the local community at Baildon.”

Two hundred people attended the opening service, including the local MP Philip Davies, Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, the Chair of Bradford Council and Councillor Joe Ashton, the Chair of Baildon Town Council.

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