Christ Church's £80,000 solar panels in Bayston Hill

image captionThe idea for the project came from a church warden who has solar panels at home

Solar panels costing £80,000 have been installed at a Shropshire church in a project which should pay for itself withing 10 years.

A loan from the Lichfield Diocese funded the 126 photovoltaic panels at Christ Church in Bayston Hill.

Minister Tim Lomax said the scheme was driven by members of the congregation.

Mr Lomax said they wanted to save money and care for the environment: "As Christians we want our church to be caring for the planet."

The idea for the solar panels came from a church warden who had already installed photovoltaic panels at his own home.

Selling electricity

The work was carried out by Eco Electrical Systems Ltd based in Bayston Hill near Shrewsbury.

The firm's owner Simon Madin, who is also a member of the church congregation, said it was one of the biggest projects of its kind in the county.

He said it would generate about 26,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year.

The church said the loan from the Church of England would be covered by the income from selling electricity back to the network.

Mr Lomax said he hoped other churches would follow their example: "It's so good to do something really positive for the environment.

"The solar panels - by protecting the church against rising electricity prices - will help to fund our Christian work in Bayston Hill for many years to come."

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