Opening a building to welcome visitors and the local community is an essential part of a churches' ministry, and working alongside partners offers an opportunity to deliver high-quality and loving service to the community.
In order to achieve this, it may be necessary to undertake some re-ordering to bring the church building up to more contemporary standards. This could mean improvements to heating and lighting, replacing seating to make the space more flexible or it could mean major intervention to the fabric of the building for example creating space for toilets, disabled access, kitchen, small multi-function rooms, etc.
Thinking about making changes
Whatever changes are being considered, a great deal of thought needs to be given to them and well in advance of them being undertaken, particularly changes that will affect historic fabric. Projects involving listed church buildings, should be underpinned by a Statement of Significance and a Statement of Need.
Thought should be given to :
- What the changes will achieve and change what is being done
- How it will fit with the mission of the church
- What the financial impacts will be – running costs, additional income, environmental sustainability
- How the need has been identified. This may be through carrying out community consultation or a parish audit.
- What other options have been considered
- Why the preferred option is the one chosen.
Help and advice
Funding may be available to help finance the project.
Professional input should be sought to assist in developing proposals. In the case of a listed church building, a conservation-accredited architect is required. An excellent toolkit, Crossing the Threshold, contains case studies and advice to help you plan a successful church building project.
Whatever the project being considered, it is a good idea to talk to and get inspiration from other churches that have undertaken similar a project and where possible visit them. There are fine examples across the diocese, e.g. Holy Trinity, Waterhead.