Belfast Monks Gain a Prayer Boost from Underfloor Heating
The monk’s life of contemplation and worship is said to lead to wisdom, well that’s certainly the case when it comes to the energy-efficient choices of the 70 Cistercian monks of Portglenone, near Belfast. The Our Lady of Bethlehem Abbey, nestling on the banks of the River Bann, was built in the 1960s and has suffered from many of the problems typical to buildings of that era, such as poor insulation, chilly concrete and brick walls, plus an ageing heating system. Fortunately, the canny Father Aelred Magee decided it was time to boost the abbey’s heating with a move to renewable energy in the form of underfloor heating and a 350kw wood pellet boiler.
Father Magee told the Belfast Telegraph: “Having made the move, I would not look back as we are benefiting from substantial savings on our energy bills. I would certainly recommend a wood pellet boiler and brites [wood pellets] to anyone who is considering an alternative way of having their heating and hot water supplied. The underfloor heating was installed in the abbey’s church, where seven prayer sessions a day take place ” including the first at 3.30am. It’s at times like that that a warm floor can make all the difference!”