BAILDON is now home to the first eco-building on church premises in the whole country after an £800,000 project lasting more than a decade.
Baildon Methodist Church first embarked on its eco mission back in 2006 when news about climate change and rising CO2 emissions were first brought to the forefront.
The Fold, constructed by experts in Rochdale, has features similar to those of a Passivhaus and follows a rigorous standard for energy efficiency in a building.
It will use virtually no energy and emit almost no carbon dioxide.
It has very thick walls, massive insulation, triple glazing, and 8 kW of solar panels on its roof.
John D Anderson, a trustee of Baildon Methodist Church, hopes the project will now encourage more residents across Bradford district to make changes to their homes and reduce global heating.
Mr Anderson told the Telegraph & Argus: “It will inspire people.
“We want them to care about climate change.
“Everybody can do things. This is the sort of thing people can do to their homes. Rather than just talk about this we’re doing it.
“In the short term it’s costing a lot of money but, in the long term, we save money and reduce carbon emissions.
“You, your children, your children’s children will have a future.”
Around 200 people visited for the unveiling of the new building including the current Shipley MP Philip Davies, councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, the chair of Bradford Council, and councillor Joe Ashton, the chair of Baildon Town Council.
The Town Council has bought £5,000 worth of equipment, particularly for the younger children who will be using the space for playgroup sessions, as its contribution to the Fold.
The Rev Kerry Tankard, chair of the Yorkshire West Methodist District, led an uplifting service of celebration and then, with the help of children to symbolise the importance of what this church is doing for the future, formally opened the Fold.
The upstairs Fold has been designed particularly for free lettings to Scouts, Guiding groups and other organisations.
But the space will be available for hire when youth groups are not using it.
The downstairs Fold has been planned with the 40-year-old Baildon Preschool in mind.
Mr Anderson said: “It is a Christian motivation but it’s a community building. This is a building for the community to use.
“It’s really exciting.
“The Fold is going to be the first community building on church premises in Britain.
“We are part of it (the world). We shouldn’t be destroying it. We are all in this together.
“Since 2006, we have an eco officer it the church and we’ve got an eco congregation.
“We’ve been doing it for 13 years.”
Both Parliament and Bradford Council have declared a climate emergency.
The design of the Fold challenges those constructing new buildings to reach the same standards in a bid to meet the government’s targets of net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.
It has passed its airtightness tests for the opening with no heating needed despite the cold Autumnal weather.