Church must practice its preachings

The Church of England is not an energy firm.

Its revenue does not have to come from energy schemes, unlike renewables firm, RES, the church commissioners’ partner in plans for a giant wind farm south of Hawick.

Therefore, strong local community opposition – if the good people of southern Roxburgh so choose to go down that route – should be enough to kill the scheme stone dead, with no prospect of a Lazarus-type resurrection through a long-drawn out appeal process.

But only if the church practices what it preaches when it comes to its own ethical investment policies.

Justin Welby was only in the church’s top job of Archbishop of Canterbury a matter of months when, last year, the ethical investments policy derailed slightly with the revelation that the church actually had an £80k stake in payday lender, Wonga, not long after Welby announced his intention to try and force the firm out of business by promoting credit unions instead.

This week we report on a plea direct to the archbishop and other commissioners about concerns over plans for the proposed wind farm.

But Lambeth Palace take heed – the people of south Roxburgh will want answers, not patronising sermons waffling on about community engagement within the national planning process.