St Cecilia’s Parish, in Camberwell South, has always been powered by the Son of God, says its Parish priest Fr Kevin McGovern. With the recent installation of solar panels systems on the church and presbytery, the parish is now also powered by the sun.

In July 2021, St Cecilia’s applied for a grant from the Commonwealth government’s Powering Communities program. After advice from an independent panel, the then–member for Higgins, Dr Katie Allen, supported their application, and the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources awarded the parish a grant of $12,578.50.

The two solar panel systems are together worth about $20,000. But with the help of this grant, along with another Commonwealth government incentive scheme and the parish’s status as a registered charity, the cost to the parish was just over $1000.

Fr Kevin says:

We undertook this project because it was cost-saving—these solar panel systems will considerably reduce our annual spend on electricity—and to contribute to carbon abatement.

In his encyclical Laudato Si’, Pope Francis calls on us to care for creation. By installing solar panels and contributing to the essential task of carbon abatement, St Cecilia’s is just one example of how we might take up that call.