The UK’s First Energy Refuge Centre

“As a church we didn’t wake up on January 1st 2022 and even contemplate such a scenario or project.”

Reverend Sam Griffiths, Wellington Baptist Church’s Pastor.

Our friends over at the Wellington Baptist Church have launched probably the UK’s FIRST ever Energy Refuge Centre.

Wellington Refuge is a community response to a recognised need in Wellington, Somerset. All across the UK, cost of living rises are causing households to struggle with paying bills, heating homes and eating well.

This amazing initiative is led by the Wellington Baptist Church with support and volunteers from the community and local council. Here, you can get a meal, stay warm, do your homework, meet friendly people, and not worry about keeping your lights/heating on while you do.

Gwent Energy CIC funded a Wood Pellet Boiler for them about 6/7 years ago, to keep their members warm and to help them continue their vital community activities – JUST LIKE THIS ONE!

It comes with mixed feelings to have to write this post – it’s not something we ever thought would be necessary in the UK in 2022, and while we’re concerned that more of these are needed throughout the UK, we’re also extremely relieved to know that there are people and communities out there that want to help and make a difference in people’s lives.

Reverend Sam Griffiths, Wellington Baptist Church’s Pastor has these words to add, “We’ve risen to the challenge of opening a Warm Place Community Refuge, because our Christian faith means that “where it matters, there you will find us!” So we’re right at the centre of our community and its needs and seeking to help and make a difference.”

“This year, in addition to setting up a Ukrainian Cafe for those escaping Putin’s terrorism, the economic sting soon became a reality in the shape of nightmare utility hikes. Seven years ago we took a decision to go to biomass technology for our Church heating and Gwent Energy made that possible by financing it.

Whilst other homes and churches are struggling to afford the basics of heat, electricity and food, our biomass costs have largely stayed low. So our warm Church hall, together with its recent upgrades is perfect for this project to make a real difference.

“We’ve had significant help from the town: some are from other churches, others are just ordinary, everyday people from the community who want to help. We’ve over 30 volunteers and have teams to cook, wash up, serve at front of house, and a team to provide day activities. We’re also planning to send people home with “something nice” – a kind of luxury that is no longer on the shopping list.”

“The project begins in 2 weeks and we are already busy with preparations and the strategic planning all seems to be working well so far!”  For more information about this project, click here to visit their website.

To find out more about this wonderful Church and their activities, click here to visit their website. If you’re in a position to, please consider donating on their website to help them keep their activities going.