Press release
11 March 2024

St Peter Mancroft to transform its energy use
with major environmental project.

St Peter Mancroft Church in Norwich city centre will be transforming its carbon footprint
and energy use by replacing its entire interior lighting system, installing heat pumps as well
as batteries and solar panels.

The environmental project will take place over the next three months. Through this work,
the church expects to see an 84% reduction in emissions by saving 60 tonnes of CO2 each

In July 2022, General Synod approved a routemap for how the Church of England can reach
net zero carbon by 2030. The Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham Usher is lead bishop
for environment for the Church of England. Bishop Graham said;

“I am delighted that the clergy and congregation at St Peter Mancroft have taken the
journey to Net Zero Carbon seriously and have worked hard on ambitious plans. As a major
historic building in the centre of Norwich, their work will have widespread interest. Their
selection as a national demonstrator project also means that their learning will be shared
and they will be able to encourage other church communities.”

The roots of the project at St Peter Mancroft began in 2017 when it gradually became
apparent that maintenance issues with lighting in the Grade 1 listed church required a
complete overhaul to bring it up to date. LED lighting will be installed to replace the
expensive, inflexible sodium lights which have been burning for decades.

Shortly after he arrived, Revd Edward Carter, current Vicar of Peter Mancroft, began asking
whether thought should be given to the installation of solar panels on the roof and
enquiries began with various agencies about the practicalities. Soon afterwards, one of the
main gas boilers failed. All these elements coming together speeded up the project plan and

Once scaffolding is in place at St Peter Mancroft, solar panels will be installed on the
southern roof in the week of 14th March, and as soon as that is complete, outdated electrical
wiring, the old lights and the old gas boiler will be removed. The new LED lighting system,
heat pumps and batteries will be installed immediately afterwards, and work is expected to
be completed by the end of June. Revd Edward said;

“It’s so satisfying to see this project finally come to fruition. It is a comprehensive project to a
Grade 1 listed church at a time when the Net Zero agenda is one of the Church of England’s
top priorities. We are delighted to have been identified by the Diocese of Norwich as a
demonstrator church project. The entire installation process is being filmed for use as a
resource for other parishes who may want to be doing this themselves.”

No structural damage to the church is anticipated – a major consideration in all planning,
and any disruption to the congregation and general public should be minimal. There will be
very little visual impact from the panels because the church stands so high.

St Peter Mancroft has been fortunate to be able to fund this major project largely through a
generous legacy, some valued support from grant giving bodies and its own resources,
meaning that no public money will be used.

The project has been overseen from start to finish by Nicholas Jackson, a conservation
accredited building surveyor and architectural designer who is also the church’s fabric
officer and the Managing Director of Nicholas Vanburgh Ltd. Nick said:

“I am hugely excited that after years of careful planning and finding our way through the
uncharted permissions process, this project is finally going to become a reality. It is
immensely satisfying to be able to have a collective impact on our carbon footprint – much
larger than can be achieved at an individual level – and to be able to provide both an
inspiration and potential pathway for other churches and communities to follow.”