Eyeing the upcoming heating season, churches in Lithuania are also preparing ways to cut costs.
“Heating bills [from 2021] have left us with a large debt and we have asked to be allowed to pay it off in instalments before the next season,” says Andrius Nenėnas, pastor of Vilnius Bernardine Church.
Last year, during the coldest months, heating for the church cost around 3,500 euros a month. This year, the bills are expected to at least double.
Meanwhile, the Church of Mary Queen of Peace in Klaipėda will not have to worry about electricity – its roof has recently been covered with solar panels.
The pastor says the motivation came from Pope Francis’ call to protect the environment and to combat rising bills.
“Our bills will be reduced quite significantly. The payback on this investment should have been within five years, but with rising electricity prices, I think it will be quicker,” says Mindaugas Šlaustas, the church’s pastor.
Meanwhile, the Krekenava Basilica had to switch off underfloor heating already last year.
“If we were paying up to 800 euros before, [now] we got a bill of 3,000 euros,” says Gediminas Jankūnas, the pastor of Krekenava.
This winter, they plan to place infrared lamp heating in parts of the church to keep the worshippers, but not the building, warm.