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Keeping the lights on in the Cathedral of the Peak

St John the Baptist church (The Cathedral of the Peak), a Grade I listed building, is recognised as being one of the finest churches in the county, and is a valuable asset to the community of Tideswell. In addition to providing regular and varied religious services and events the church provides a very important venue for the village to attract and host numerous events. These average about 6 per year and include events such as school visits, concerts, professional theatre groups, special exhibitions e.g., for the village food festival, and the BBC Songs of Praise recording (with the church filled with singers from the region). The church members support the local schools and provide help to local voluntary groups. The building attracts over 30,000 visitors a year which supports local businesses and the wider community. In addition members provide tower tours and special tours for visiting groups of tourists.

The existing wiring and lighting is outdated and mainly consists of obsolete inefficient flood lights. Several cables have failed. The lighting is essentially on or off, costly to run and to maintain since access to the lights is very difficult. The power sockets are very limited and not suitable for most events. These limitations are a major hurdle for groups wishing to hire the church for an event. We intend to replace the system with a modern dimmable LED lights and electrical sockets in the correct place so that the usefulness and attractiveness of the church to the community and to visitors will be improved. The new lighting scheme will allow the best ambience to be created for the different types of event held in church and the chosen control system can be seamlessly incorporated into that used by visiting professional groups. The scheme will reduce the energy use when all the lights are on at full power, from 20kW to 4kW. In practice the carbon foot print will be reduced by more than this since on many occasions only specific areas will need to be highlighted. This project will help us increase the number of events held.

The work requires a complete rewire of the church to install the new lights and control system. The work is now urgent as light bulbs for the existing lights are no longer available.

80% of the cost of the first phase of the project (The Nave) has been raised. Another £26,125 for the first phase (The Nave) is needed together with another ,£14500 for the Chancel.


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