Carmel Bulletin, 18 November 2018

Church from Distance
A view of the side of our church from a distance, with new solar panels on the roof

Recently the parish installed seventy-two solar panels across the priory and church.  Our action is part of a growing trend amongst homeowners and businesses to reduce both energy bill costs and reliance on fossil fuels.

Having solar energy powering our liturgical space is a visible way of connecting the liturgy to our daily lives.  We give praise and thanks to God the creator in the liturgy, and being nourished sustained through the word and Eucharist, we are called to “glorify the Lord by [our] life”.  Pope Francis in his encyclical Laudato si’ reflects on the Canticle of St Francis of Assisi, reminding us that “our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us.”  Our concern for the environment takes this message beyond the walls of our church to a world in need of care.

This is why we deliberately considered ecological concerns when planning for the renewal of our church.  Within the Guiding Concepts, we identified through consultation and discernment this need looking into the future: “As stewards of God’s creation, we need to consider ways of operating a more environmentally sustainable plant.”  We have now worked towards this goal through the use of both solar power, as well as LED lighting in the church, which is more energy efficient than traditional incandescent or fluorescent lights.

As a Church, we live by the principle that what we pray is what we believe.  Just as the words of our prayers express our faith, so too should the buildings that we pray in.  May we continue to explore new ways of shaping and renewing our church building to give glory, honour and care to the precious environment in which it stands.

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