The Church of England encourages priests to use more cushions and carpets in order to heat buildings better. This is to reduce carbon emissions to ‘net zero’.

  • To allow for more green furniture, church rules will be relaxed. 
  • Officials from the Church claim that this will allow buildings to retain more heat. 
  • Next month, the General Synod will vote on these proposals. 

In an effort to meet the environmental goals of officials, church rules will be eased to permit more “soft furnishings”.

Plans to vote on the Church of England General Synod’s next month will see laws changed to allow priests to place cushions, kneelers, and carpets more easily.

These proposals were made as part of the goal for the Church to have ‘net zero’ carbon emissions by 2030.

Officials from the Church claim that soft furnishings will allow buildings to retain more heat.

Church rules are due to be relaxed to allow more soft furnishings – to help officials meet green targets (file photo used)

Yesterday’s Church green strategy documents suggest that any changes made to cushions, kneelers, hassocks or pew runners are allowed as long as the appearance is not altered in any way.

Before then, cushions could only be added to the church without prior permission if it did not affect the appearance of the whole building.

Others changes required permission from the consistory Court, which is the Church’s version planning permission.

St Mary's Church, in the village of Church Fenton, North Yorkshire. The change would make it easier for Church of England priests and parishioners to install cushions, kneelers and carpets

St Mary’s Church in Church Fenton (North Yorkshire). It would be easier for Church of England priests to lay carpets, cushions and kneelers.

Campaign groups that have opposed changes to similar structures have submitted written arguments calling for preservation of historic pews, and other parts of the building.

Becky Clark from the Church, who is also the director for churches and cathedrals said to The Daily Telegraph, “Putting cushions on chairs, placing rugs on benches and small floor runners underneath seating can all help reduce cold feelings and heat loss.

Joe O’Donnell is the Victorian Society’s director. He stated that the Victorian Society’s directors must understand both the importance of listed churches and their furnishings.