Wood biomass breathes new life into ancient church

t37511An ancient church, St Peter’s in the aptly named Peterchurch in Herefordshire, has been given a new lease of life thanks to a renovation which sees this once draftee building updated with a modern-core, kept warm by under floor heating powered by a 65kW HDG wood-pellet boiler from Euroheat.

Now used as a community centre, with toddler groups and even belly dancing classes, the church is benefitting from the carbon neutral heating and relative low-maintenance of the wood-pellet boiler. Unlike logs or chips, pellets create much less ash waste, just 0.2%, meaning ash trays only have to be cleaned out once a fortnight. The fuel is delivered directly to the boiler, which is housed in a purpose-built wooden shed, designed to blend seamlessly into the church’s graveyard.

This was no ordinary installation however, with many of the churches original ‘residents’ having to move in order to accommodate the pipe work associated with the new system. Alun Matthews, founder of The Efficient Energy Centre, which installed the boiler, explains:

“St. Peter’s is a historical building so archaeology consultants were required to carry-out all the major digging – around 60 ancient skeletons, including a ‘plague pit’, were excavated and re-buried! Piping, laid throughout the graveyard, had to be completed with great sensitivity and care. The boiler plant itself was built off-site and then craned into the purpose-made box.”

With no heating previously in the church at all, the building has now been transformed into a valuable space that the whole village can enjoy. Renovation works were funded by various grant streams with the use of renewables helping the church to meet funding criteria.

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