Church-goers get heated cushions for winter services

Man with heated cushion in church. Pic: Exeter Diocese Martyn Goss of the diocese makes use of one of the heated cushions

The prayers of parishioners at two cold and damp churches have been answered after the Diocese of Exeter agreed to trial re-heatable cushions on the pews.

One hundred cushions are being trialled in Broadclyst and South Tawton's Anglican churches for three months.

Designed for use by sports fans, the cushions are part of a campaign to cut carbon emissions and look at new heating systems for church buildings.

If the scheme works, the cushions could be rolled out across the county.

The diocese said about 75% of its 600 churches in Devon were listed buildings, and many were large and difficult to heat.

Diocese environment officer Martyn Goss said the cushions contained a re-heatable pad which remained warm for up to 90 minutes and could be reused 1,000 times.

The heat pack was biodegradable at the end of its life, he added.

He said: "This is a technology which has been designed for outdoor use in sports stadiums.

"We think it could have a lot of potential for church use in Devon where heating buildings can be expensive and inefficient."

The cushions will be in use until the end of January.

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