Welcome to St John’s Sunshine

Congratulations, you’ve stumbled onto the web pages for St John’s Sunshine, a little enterprise with big ambitions, located at the heart of Old Trafford in Greater Manchester.

We’re a voluntary community group, we’re also a business, and we’re a kind of co-operative too, all rolled into one. Our unique enterprise is generating green electricity to benefit the people in the area, and we have a lot of work to do.

Phase 1 of the system was installed in 2012, Phase 2 in February 2015 and we’re looking to at the possibility of more in 2016!

If you’d like to know more please take a peak at the rest of the pages or contact us.

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St John’s Sunshine Launch, April 1st 2012. Photos by David Warren

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The next round of Sunshine Grants are up for grabs!

Every day the solar PV panels on St John’s Church roof generate electricity that is used to help power the St Johns Centre.

Since 2012, through the St John’s Sunshine’s solar panels, our community has generated 7 mega watts (that’s a lot of boiling kettles!) of renewable energy, made freely available to St John’s Centre, a resource for the whole community, and, since 2018, solar thermal panels installed on the hall roof have also helped to heat water in the Centre’s kitchen and toilets.

The solar PV panels also generate money through the Feed in Tariff. Some of this money is available to local community groups via ‘Sunshine grants’. See the ‘Sunshine grants powering community activities‘ post for examples of how previous Sunshine grants have helped power local community activities.

To celebrate 10 years of generating renewable energy, we are launching a new round of ‘sunshine grants’ for January 2022.

You can download the Sunshine grant details and application form HERE. The deadline for applications is 12 noon on Friday 14th January 2022. So get your thinking caps on!

We’ll share the awards at a community feast; the proof of the pudding is mucking in and tucking in together!

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St John’s Sunshine Annual General Meeting (6.30pm Thursday 24th October)

St Johns Sunshine solar panels on church roof

Dear members and supporters

You are warmly invited to: The St John’s Sunshine AGM, 6.30pm Thursday 24th October 2019 at St John’s Centre, St John’s Road, Old Trafford M16 7GS

Refreshments available (and maybe even cake!)

6.30 – 7.15pm: the formal bit

  • Apologies
  • Minutes from previous meeting
  • Director/other elections*
  • Note on surplus, accountants and auditor
  • Interest on shares
  • Social report
  • Receipt of financial accounts
  • AOB


  • Possible future plans

All welcome.  To help us arrange refreshments – if possible please let us know whether you can attend the AGM.

*DIRECTOR/OTHER ELECTIONS: In accordance with the rules (see clauses 31 onwards), one member of the Board (current members: John Hughes, Pete Abel and Emma Wilton, Secretary: John Hughes, Chairperson: to be nominated) will ‘retire’ but can stand for re-election. There should be at least 3 members of the board.  

It would be great if you could stand – let us know in advance or just nominate yourself at the AGM.  If you can’t make this meeting you can still put yourself forward.  Like to just try it out? You can come along to a meeting and/or be co-opted onto the Board at any time.

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It’s Panto time…. oh no it’s not, oh yes it is!

The St John’s Centre Panto is back! This year we present: Cinderella

A great show for all ages starring our staff, volunteers and friends. Continue reading

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Sunday Quiz (St John’s Sunshine) Community Energy Fortnight event

Community Energy Fortnight is here and St John’s Sunshine is getting into hot water to
celebrate! We’re well on the way to raising the £5,500 needed for a new solar water
system for St John’s Centre, so come and join us to help raise the rest!

St Johns Sunshine - Sunday Quiz

You need— a team (2-8 lovely and/or clever folk, no experience necessary)
and a ticket (£5 per person in advance)

You get— entry and quiz fun, free snacks and drink, a prize for the winners,
something different to do on a Sunday evening, and a warm feeling as every
penny will support the solar hot water scheme.

Limited alcohol available or BYO.

For tickets email john@stjohnssunshine.org.uk or contact the Centre. Tickets
are also available on the night for £6.


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Celebrate Earth Day 2018 and help us raise funds for a solar thermal hot water system

Earth Day Poster landscape 2

All ages welcome!

Add your energy to ours!  If you’d like to perform on the day, donate a raffle prize or contribute an activity, please email John Hughes: john_dhughes@yahoo.co.uk

Sunday 22nd April, 1-4.30pm at St John’s Centre, St John’s Road, Old Trafford, M16 7GX.


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St John’s Sunshine AGM, art, curry, cake and dancing

We would like to invite people to the St John’s Sunshine AGM (annual general meeting) plus other good stuff. All welcome.

When: from 4pm on Sunday 29th October 2017

Where: St John’s Church, Ayres Road, Old Trafford, M16 7GX Continue reading

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Banner making… (Tuesday 29th August)

Here’s one we made earlier!  St John’s are making another, more modest, banner on Tuesday 29th August.  It will read “This is what we’ve got to share’ and will be open to interpretation and visible from the street on Ayres Road. Continue reading

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Green Communion to celebrate the 1st anniversary of the Eco Church award scheme

You are invited to a Green Communion – St John’s, Ayres Road, Old Trafford. Sunday February 5th, 2017 @ 10am.

St John’s will hold a Green Communion to celebrate the 1st anniversary of the Eco Church award scheme on Sun 5th February.

St John’s delights in care of creation as part of its mission. ‘Cycle to church for body soul and planet’ the cycle racks preach. ‘Water me when thirsty’ and ‘pick me when I am ripe’ say the labels in our community run allotment in the church grounds.

Since 2012, the church has hosted solar panels on the south facing roof, so that St John’s Sunshine, a volunteer led renewable energy co-op with solar panels on the roof feeding electricity to the neighbouring community centre and awarding sunshine grants to local groups.


St John’s is now working towards receiving an Eco Church Award. Since Eco Church launched last year, over 450 churches across England and Wales have registered. It was set up for churches to demonstrate how they are caring for God’s earth in different areas of their life and work. They do this by filling out a survey that takes them through five key areas of church life (worship and teaching, management of church buildings, management of church land, community and global engagement, lifestyle).  Churches are then supported through the scheme as they make their way through the three levels – Bronze, Silver and Gold.

More info about the service from John Hughes 0161 872 0500 john_dhughes@yahoo.co.uk

More information about the Eco Church scheme can be found here.


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Sunshine grants powering community activities

Every day the solar PV panels on St John’s Church roof generate electricity that is used to help power the St Johns Centre. The solar panels also generate money through the Feed in Tariff.  Some of this money is available to local community groups via ‘Sunshine grants’. See below for examples of how Sunshine grants have helped power two local community activities. Continue reading

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St John’s Sunshine: going solar the co-operative way

John Hughes describes a parish community energy scheme glowing into life in Old Trafford

“YOU COULD DO IT AS A CO-OP,” FIONA SAID, licking her free ice cream at a ‘Meet Your Neighbours’ interfaith event in the summer of 2011. Fiona Nicholls runs an environmental action co-operative and is now a codirector here at St John’s Sunshine. Continue reading

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