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English and Welsh Catholic bishops turn to gin for green energy


© Marcin Mazur | | Catholic Church England and Wales | Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

J-P Mauro - published on 04/28/21

The Catholic Church is now the largest buyer of green energy in England and Wales.

English Catholic bishops are turning to a Scottish gin distillery for green energy. Alcohol-based biofuel is now providing three-quarters of the power for the Church in England and Wales. The announcement comes in tandem with reports that the Church is now the largest purchaser of green energy in the countries. 

According to The Tablet, the Church now procures its energy from Interdiocesan Fuel Management (IFM). This 20-year-old company, run by the Diocese of Shrewsbury, produces 78% of its gas from the Hendricks gin distillery. Carbon offset projects provide the remaining energy. 

The IFM estimates that 100% of Church electricity now comes from green sources. They are now working with diocesan schools to make a similar switch. The IFM also extends its services to developing countries, where they help fund water production projects. 

The next step

In a press conference, Bishop of Salford John Arnold hailed the Church’s efforts. He called for Catholics to be a leading voice on the “greening” of energy supplies. He said: 

“Greening of energy is the priority and the quicker it can be done the better. We have to be wise in the way we choose to invest our money.” He added, “We have to hold them to account and it’s an ongoing conversation. By engaging with them we have a better opportunity to ensure they are coming up with the goods.”

English and Welsh prelates are preparing to issue a joint statement with Scottish bishops on the environment. The statement will publish on Pentecost Sunday, May 23, the 6th anniversary of the papal environmental encyclical, Laudato Si.

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