Mecklenburg-West Pomerania: Warm sweaters, short sermons: How churches save energy

The energy crisis does not stop at the churches.

Mecklenburg-West Pomerania: Warm sweaters, short sermons: How churches save energy

The energy crisis does not stop at the churches. In the Advent and Christmas season, however, they are popular places to stop and also for concerts. The challenge is approached in different ways.

Schwerin (dpa/mv) - Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania's churches are heading towards the busiest weeks of the year: the Advent and Christmas seasons. At the same time, the churches are also called upon to save energy. In order not to freeze, Martin Innemann from the Catholic Archdiocese of Hamburg recommends: "One more sweater and warm shoes for the service will not go amiss." In some places there is also coffee and tea after the Holy Mass. "And maybe the sermon will be a little shorter here and there when the temperatures drop below zero."

According to Christian Meyer from the Evangelical Lutheran North Church, the faithful are used to the cold in winter anyway. "Very few of the approximately 660 churches in Mecklenburg can be heated." Church services and other events are therefore often held in small winter churches or in rectory and community buildings during the cooler months of the year - but also in unheated churches, especially on Christmas Eve and the Christmas holidays.

But long underwear could also be useful in heated rooms: All those responsible were asked again weeks ago to lower the temperature level in all heatable church buildings, said Meyer.

Neither Meyer nor Innemann believe that the furnishings of the church building, which are often valuable in terms of art history, could suffer if the heating was turned down or turned off completely. But you have to watch out for the humidity. If this is stable, "then five to eight degrees Celsius is sufficient as the basic temperature in churches to protect the often valuable inventory," says Meyer. Innemann pointed out that constant ups and downs in temperatures are harmful and should be avoided.

According to the information, the churches are currently not illuminated in the dark to save energy. The savings effect is limited, as it has been illuminated up to a maximum of 11 p.m. and with economical LEDs. However, light as a sign is indispensable, especially during the Christmas season, said Meyer. "When the churches are decorated, especially in the Advent and Christmas season, lighting is certainly not completely dispensed with."

According to Innemann, the Archdiocese of Hamburg, to which Mecklenburg belongs, has started a "Warm Places" campaign. Various parishes, places of church life, institutions, individuals and groups made offers and offered warm places for people in the cold. It is not just about heated rooms and warming rooms, but also about warmth in the form of pastoral offers or shared meals.

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