Net Zero

In September 2020 we agreed to commit to becoming a Net Zero Carbon District by 2040, at the latest.
On this page, you’ll find progress information, stories, successes, and resources for churches.

For more information contact our District Net Zero Officer, Tim O’Brien, part of our District

Our commitment to good stewardship
of the earth’s precious resources…

The groundwork to identify 2040 as a feasible target was extensive and was led by Prof Simon Pringle, an expert in Sustainability and Innovation. All of our 200+ churches had an initial audit, from which we identified 40 churches suitable for an early transition to Net Zero. This has given us confidence that the District, and the Circuits and churches within it, can achieve Net Zero through these measures:

  • Targeted refurbishment of properties including conversion to locally generated green energy where possible (see our Tea & PV project below)
  • Switching to green energy tariffs; and
  • Commitments to lowering personal carbon footprints through travel and the choices we make about what we buy and consume.

Since these priorities were identified in 2020, we have been busy puzzling out the practicalities of how to decarbonise our buildings. With help from the Rural Community Energy Fund 36 churches were assessed to establish a practical Pathway to Net Zero, with a good number of churches now benefiting from capital works projects to improve energy efficiency of their buildings and generate some electricity for themselves. None of this work would have been possible without the generous support of grantmakers, to whom we are extremely grateful. Particular thanks to: The Benefact Trust, The Congregational & General Charitable Trust, The North East & Yorkshire Net Zero Hub, and Energy for Tomorrow. In addition, the expertise from D3 Associates and the North East and Yorkshire Net Zero Hub has proved invaluable.



We’re excited to announce the District is a finalist for the 2024 Ashden Awards for People’s Energy for helping UK communities power up local energy solutions.

Over 500 organisations applied and we are among seventeen outstanding organisations delivering innovative climate solutions that have reached the finals of the prestigious 2024 Ashden Awards.

Award winners will be announced at a ceremony on 27 June 2024, during London Climate Action Week.


Yorkshire North & East Methodist District was shortlisted as a finalist for the Community Engagement and Inclusion Award at the #CommunityEnergy Awards 2023 by Community Energy England

“The Yorkshire N&E Methodist District’s journey toward Net Zero was not just about achieving a numerical target. It is an illustration of how a community-led approach, powered by volunteers and inclusivity, can create a meaningful impact.”

We are so grateful to North East & Yorkshire Net Zero Hub, Energy for Tomorrow (EfT), Benefact Trust, Community Energy England for the funding and support you’ve given us to get us firmly on our Pathway to Net Zero. Huge thanks to d3associates for bringing our projects to fruition.

TEA & PV Project

The Yorkshire North & East Methodist District is leading the pathway towards Net Zero for the 200+ churches in its care. The current project is called Tea & PV, the PV being photovoltaic panels, commonly known as solar panels, that convert light into electricity. These are being installed on selected churches across this part of Yorkshire and showcasing them to promote solar panels and the Net Zero objective.

The Tea and PV project, generously funded by Centrica’s Energy for Tomorrow programme has supported the installation of solar panels on a sample of churches in the District. Through expertise provided by D3Associates, the project has provided churches of all sizes, in a range of settings, the chance to generate their own power – showing these installations can work just about anywhere.

The project is engaging church communities to help them understand the benefit of renewable energy. To show the power of the new solar panels, churches have been translating the energy they generate into a straightforward measure: how many cups of tea could be brewed with it. Across 10 churches with solar monitoring in place, the number of cups of tea which could have been brewed since the panels were installed over the last few months stands at: 1,023,545, as of 26 March 2024.

In addition to reducing carbon footprint, solar panels reduce the amount of electricity needed from the grid, so churches are seeing lower bills.  It is hoped showing what is being generated on screens at churches will ignite conversation and encourage people to ask questions about the solar panels and other Net Zero measures. The congregations and local communities will then be able to see how much difference the panels are making, one cup of tea at a time.

If you have solar panels and internet and are interested in finding out more about installing a solar monitoring solution, please contact:



December 2023: Congratulations to Acomb Methodist Church as they celebrated their part in the Yorkshire North and East Methodist District’s ‘Tea and PV’ #netzero initative this afternoon… with a dedication of their solar panels. One more step along a significant and faith-filled journey of transformation for this church at the heart of the community.




Queen Street, Scarborough





More resources coming soon…

Stories from around the District

Articles by The Methodist Church

Yorkshire North and East District moving towards Carbon Net Zero

The Tea & PV project in Yorkshire North & East

Summerbridge Methodist Church

Gold Eco Church award – Summerbridge Methodist Church
Congratulations to Summerbridge Methodist Church who have been given an a Rocha Eco Church scheme Gold award, after lots of hard work! The scheme looked at all aspects of our church life including worship, buildings, community engagement and more. For details take a look at Particular thanks to the Young Church team who refurbished the tarmac ‘garden’ beside the Church last year.

Summerbridge were featured on the Methodist Church Podcast, the full episode can be found here:

For more information contact our District Net Zero Officer, Tim O’Brien, part of our District

We are thankful to…