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Statements of Significance and Need

Researching and writing statements of significance and need will help you to understand your church, its history and architecture, and previous changes that have taken place.

If you take the time to research them thoroughly they can help reveal potential and possible limits to your project, as well as revealing how and why your building developed the way it did, and why it is unique to your community.

Both are a requirement for building projects at listed places of worship.

Statements of significance

A statement of significance should describe the various parts of your building, when they were constructed and when notable additions were made to the exterior and interior (including furnishings and stained glass).

It should summarise why each is important to the character of the whole building and to your community.

It is a useful resource for anyone with responsibility for your church fabric or furnishings and encourages good stewardship of your heritage building.

The document should be revisited at regular intervals, and be considered at all times to be a working document.

Statements of need

A statement of need should clearly set out the reasons why your desired changes are necessary to meet the future needs of your community. It should both serve the parish and be useful as part of applying for a faculty or other permissions.

Preparing the statements should help you to focus your vision and agree on what you want to achieve within your church. You should balance liturgical needs with any proposals for the enhancement of the building for easier access and wider use by the community.

It is your opportunity to explain, justify and rationalise your proposals to all interested parties.

Historic England: writing statements of significance and need for historic places of worship

Church Build: how to write statements of significance and need

Church of England: statements of significance and need