Co Antrim church will give ‘surplus’ RHI cash to charity

Hebron Free Presbyterian Church stands to get a quarter of a million pounds under the RHI scheme

Hebron Free Presbyterian Church stands to get a quarter of a million pounds under the RHI scheme

A Free Presbyterian Church has said it is giving any “surplus” money it receives from the RHI scheme to charity.

The News Letter revealed on Saturday that DUP MLA Mervyn Storey is an elder at Hebron Free Presbyterian Church in Co Antrim, a beneficiary of the botched Renewable Heating Incentive scheme.

The Ballymoney church stands to receive £270,000 over a 20-year period.

Mr Storey, a DUP minister in the last Executive, said he had no role in drawing up Hebron Free Presbyterian Church’s application to the scheme.

The News Letter had also asked Mr Storey if the church would consider paying back the money over and above what it needs to pay for its heating costs, given that it is now accepted that the scheme was far too generous and is therefore going to be a drain on the public purse.

Mr Storey said that he could not comment on that and it would be a matter for the church as a whole to consider.

Now, Rev David Park, the minister at the Ballymoney-based church, has told the BBC it is giving “surplus money” it makes from the scheme to charity.

He added that “at least £5,000” each year for the next 20 years would be donated, amounting to a total charitable donation of £100,000.