UK’s newest ‘champing’ venue offers underfloor heating
Camping in UK churches, known as ‘champing’, just got more comfortable, with the latest venue including underfloor heating as part of the deal.
St Michael the Archangel, in Booton, Norfolk has just opened its doors to overnight guests. The last service was held in this country church in 1987. Since then, the doors have remained firmly closed.
In February of this year, work began to revamp the interior, so that it could welcome tourists. The pews were removed and camp beds set up in their place. A table has been installed next to the pulpit with coffee and tea making facilities on it.
The church is watertight and heated during the six months it is open to guests. Electric underfloor heating works particularly well in buildings like this. Heat rises from the floor, so the bottom half of the church, where people are staying, is always warm. This pattern of heat circulation is the most efficient, especially in buildings, like churches, which typically have very high ceilings.
It is also a particularly good form of heating to install under a stone floor. Stone conducts heat well and once it is heated up, it stays warm for a long time. This fact makes water underfloor heating an even more efficient option for buildings like churches that often feature stone floors.
This is not the only church that offers a champing service. Over the past few years, the Churches Conservation Trust has converted 12 abandoned churches into the champing format. The income generated from these goes towards conserving 300 other churches protected by the trust.