From churches and mosques to gurdwaras and synagogues, thousands of faith buildings across the UK play important roles in their communities. As well as providing a place for worship and community activity like playgroups, many have recently been serving as "warm banks", a space for people who may be struggling to heat their homes to come and warm up.
But how can these buildings, often huge and sometimes hundreds of years old, afford to provide these critical spaces in times of energy price hikes without relying on climate-wrecking fossil fuels?
Inspired by talking to an interfaith group in Birmingham, an innovative infra-red heating company in Bristol and a New York Times bestselling science-fiction author, Emma Newman imagines a future in which community groups redesign the function of former shopping malls to create third spaces that repair the fabric of society.
Do you want to tell Emma about a project or idea linked to this episode? Email [email protected]
In episode 3 we heard from:
- Toqueer Ahmed Quyyam from Footsteps Interfaith Group, part of the Friends of the Earth group network
- Global market leader in infrared heating, Herschel Infrared
- New York Times bestseller Una McCormack
Additional resources about community buildings
Article from Open University about working with Bow Church to expand community activities
A research project looking at community engagement in the use of faith buildings
An Open University course designed to help people to consult with communities on the use of faith buildings
A video about the Halo heater, in which the diagram about bubbles of heat mentioned in the episode can be seen
Join a Friends of the Earth local action group