Simply put, the review will report on what buildings we have, where they are, what state they are in and are they enabling the mission and ministry needs of the church, in the communities in which they sit.
Why are we having one?
In the words of the Chair of the DAC – ‘for our buildings to be an asset and not a burden we need to understand, manage and fully incorporate our property portfolio (Church buildings, halls, centres, etc.) into our Diocesan mission planning’. The Diocese is taking its lead from the nation churches Buildings Review Group; follow this link for Scope & Context
How will parishes be involved?
Almost all the buildings across the Diocese are either owned or managed locally with the Parochial Church Council holding the responsibility for their care. PCCs know their buildings best and understand their significance and their maintenance needs; what facilities they have and the uses to which they are put. The best outcomes for your Parish and community are very much in your gift. There will initially be a lot of information and data that the Review Group will need to pull together – some to complete a partial picture we already have and some that will paint a broader picture.
The Review Group is already in conversation with Deaneries looking at how we can minimise the impact and provide as much assistance as possible to enable parish engagement.
What will it produce?
The Strategic Buildings Review aims to deliver several positive outcomes for Parishes, Deaneries and the Diocese.
- A better understanding of what we have and what we need
- Options for sustainable ways forward in every parish
- Updated heritage and ‘church near you’ records
- Identification of ‘significant churches’ to become resource centres for mission
- Refocused tools and other resources to support parishes in making their buildings fit for mission
So, what next?
The data collection phase is the foundation of the review and will happen over the next 6 months. After that we envisage the following stages, culminating in a report for consideration by Diocesan Synod in Spring 2019
- The statistics: their accessibility and use
- Identifying the role and status of churches – categories
- Developing options and models for change – case studies
- Developing practical tools and other resources to support maintenance, insurance, faculties, fund raising and clergy training – developing resource
- Action Planning including Deanery Development Plans
Consultation will enable each stage to progress, but don’t wait to be asked – if you want information or clarification on where the review is up to or would like to make a positive suggestion or other contribution, then you can contact the core group on the following email: DDSBReview@gmail.com
Diocesan Synod ran an initial session in March, the output of which has been written up and has been informing some early discussions about Parish thinking regarding buildings and mission. Click here to download this report
Becky Clarke, Director of Cathedrals & Church Buildings Division, spoke at Synod Click here for her presentation