Peer Power at Archbishop’s Palace
On a sunny April morning, Lambeth Palace opened its doors to Fit for the Future Network and marked its commitment to improve the sustainability of this historic residence.
Lambeth Palace is the official home of the Archbishop of Canterbury, operating as both an office space, a place of worship and a family home. It houses two religious communities and contains a library for the collection of historical books, a chapel where services are held daily, and galleries for hosting events. This set up presents unique challenges when it comes to managing the energy performance of the buildings, and Lambeth Palace is keen to start making significant improvements.
The Network team organised a peer consultancy of the Palace, inviting members from Historic England and National Trust to meet with Lambeth staff and walk round the site. This enabled Quentin and Ruth from Lambeth Palace to outline their challenges to Miranda (National Trust), Caroline and Andrew (Historic England) and Paul Hamley, who is working on the Shrinking the Footprint campaign with the Church of England. In turn Miranda, Caroline, Andrew and Paul were able to offer advice based on their own experiences of a range of heritage buildings, helping the Lambeth team to develop a clear set of next steps in order to get started on this journey.
Some of the outcomes from the visit include the temporary loan of monitoring equipment to Quentin to create an energy profile of Lambeth Palace, the dissemination of surveys and data sheets and an offer to look over procurement contracts. The priority for the Palace is to gather as much accurate data as possible, have a full picture of how the entire site is used at different times….along with some top tips and easy wins – like using black plasticine to draft proof traditional windows!
The team also took some time to explore the outstanding gardens of the Palace, second only in size to the Queen’s private gardens. Here, the gardeners have done inspiring work to promote biodiversity and sustainability, growing organic food for the religious communities, keeping bees, and carefully managing water use.
Over the coming months and years, Lambeth Palace and the Church of England will be working through Fit for the Future to become climate-friendly, resilient and adaptive in the face of climate change. By sharing experiences and resources in this way, they will hopefully reach their goals more quickly and with greater success. We looking forward to enabling that progress.