Working together

 

Working together with other churches and volunteers, can help you to plan, manage and carry out regular maintenance tasks. Whether you are part of a formal maintenance scheme or simply come together with other local churches, you can share skills, resources and costs.

Faith in maintenance 2

FiM 2 is a training programme run by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings and will be available until the end of 2015. It aims to give volunteers who care for historic places of worship the knowledge and confidence they need to identify and carry out routine maintenance.

The website contains a wealth of information for churches and volunteers, and links to book the excellent one-day training course. This is best done as a diocese or group, and there may be funding available locally to pay for it.

Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings: faith in maintenance

faith in maintenance traioning courseMaintenance Cooperatives Movement

With this brand new project the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings aims to create a network of informed community groups dedicated to the care and repair of historic places of worship.

The project builds on the success of Faith in Maintenance, which offered expert training and support to the army of volunteers who are largely responsible for the up-keep of our churches, chapels and meeting houses. This next phase connects, encourages and supports these volunteers further, creating and sustaining a series of ‘local maintenance cooperatives’ which will link groups of people and encourage them to work together to tackle common problems.

Working with the National Churches Trust and sector partners each cooperative will carry out a training needs assessment and plan a tailored programme of formal and informal training activities and workshops which could include:

  • care of objects
  • recruiting volunteers and setting up a friends’ group
  • understanding your building’s history and building materials
  • security/prevention of metal theft
  • historic building legislation
  • how to work with your professional adviser and use your quinquennial inspection report
  • writing maintenance plans and running building projects
  • sustainability / energy efficiency

For more information you can email kate.streeter@spab.org.uk

Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings: maintenance cooperatives movement

Maintenance schemes

There are several formal maintenance schemes around the country. If you don’t have one in your area, why not consider working with local partners to set one up.

Maintenance schemes have three main advantages for congregations:

  • a reliable and competent contractor is pre-selected for them
  • an appropriate specification for the work is provided
  • operating on a large scale with a small number of contractors reduces costs

According to Historic England:

"To make a scheme viable in the long-term the pricing structure needs to make the work affordable and attractive to congregations, but also profitable for the contractor. In order to achieve this, it appears to be necessary either to have subsidy of some sort – at least initially – or to have a scheme that is large enough to generate significant economies of scale." 

Diocese of Gloucester: gutter clear

Diocese of London: gutter maintenance programme

Diocese of Norwich: church maintenance scheme

Diocese of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich: elix church maintenance scheme