Enhancing the space (allowing you to do more)


Cheshire, MALPAS, St Mary (Kelly Haley 2014)In the middle ages, churches were built to be the centre of the community. The nave was paid for by local people (the chancel by the church), and was used for a wide variety of community activities including meetings, markets and even as a pen for animals during inclement weather.

Places of worship are still at the centre of our communities. They can and do provide brilliant venues for a wide range of services for all, including those who are not part of the congregation. Churches, chapels and meeting houses can offer the local community a space to come together for activities and events, as well as being an open and accessible draw for visitors.

There are a wide range of activates and services that can be run in or from a church building. Examples from around the country include local meetings and debates, drama and art classes, dance classes, mother and baby groups, playgroups, support groups for tackling substance abuse, library services, post office facilities, knit and natter groups, cafes and even cinemas.

In many ways the only limit is your imagination and perhaps some practicalities.

Community space and increasing use

Norfolk, NORWICH, St LaurenceIn most denominations it is generally accepted that a church building can have a variety of complimentary uses.

The wider use of the church building depends largely on local circumstances and need and may not be ecclesiastical in purpose provided the primary use of the church remains that of worship.

National Churches Trust: community space and increasing use

Liturgical changes

Surrey, BANSTEAD, St AnnOver time, the way that churches worship has changed.

Some congregations are reordering and adapting their buildings to reflect this.

National Churches Trust: liturgical changes

Making changes to your building

Providing community space, or reordering for different styles of worship may involve making changes to your building.

Our website contains comprehensive advice to guide you through managing a building project, including planning, fundraising, managing and evaluating your project.

National Churches Trust: managing building projects

Historic England: new work in historic places of worship

Church of England: new work in church buildings

Matthew Saunders: new work in historic churches