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Source of comfort - C of E is set to vote on allowing more cushions in Church

by Donna Birrell

Rules around soft furnishings in churches could soon be relaxed in a bid to help the Church of England meet its target of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.

The Church’s General Synod is to vote on plans to make it easier for parishioners to install comfortable materials on wooden pews.

It means there could soon be  more cushions, kneelers and rugs in churches across the country.

Soft furnishings retain more heat and help towards insulation in draughty buildings so would help the C of E towards achieving its environmental targets. 

Parishes currently have to apply to the church’s consistory courts for permission to make changes to their buildings, including changes to the type of chairs or floor coverings used, if they might “result in a change to the overall appearance of the church”. 

Under proposals to be put to the church’s General Synod for approval in February, churches would now only require permission when it would result in a major alteration to the appearance of the church.

Becky Clark, the Church's director of churches and cathedrals, told The Daily Telegraph:

"Putting cushions on seats, putting rugs on benches or small floor runners... underneath pews or seating can help stop people feeling cold and you can reduce the heating."

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