PropertyCaring for our buildings
The church is the people, not the building
We believe in, and try to live out, this statement. We love our buildings dearly, but we love our people more. Which is why we have people and policies in place to help care for our buildings to keep people safe.
Information for Churches is available from a wide range of resources many of which are available in our Resources Library, in particular the Guidance Note on Property Matters for Elders which includes a number of links to information on various topics. Your friendly Synod Property Officer is also happy to help when she can or to point you to others when appropriate.
For any issues enquiries relating to renting or leasing the church (or part of it), speak to Alastair. He sure knows his stuff!
Guidance and Application forms
Our Resources Library is your one stop shop for all the guidance and application forms you could possibly need!
Many church buildings will be listed, and will become listed. Listed buildings often get very negative press! But we think there are four key reasons why we should bother about listed buildings:
Our journey as a church is clearly reflected in the buildings our forefathers erected to worship in, many of which are widely recognised as being of historic and architectural importance. The listed church buildings in Yorkshire tell us much about this story. For example:
• about the importance to our forebears (and so to us) of gathering round the Lord’s Table;
• about our tradition’s emphasis on proclaiming the Word;
Each of the 31 listed United Reformed Church buildings in Yorkshire has been judged by a body external to ourselves and competent to make the judgement, as being important in the history of their communities and worth a second or even a third or fourth glance architecturally. What an endorsement! What an opportunity to declare the church’s long-standing and continuing mission to the people!
Heritage is big business!
The historic church building is a particular asset because the history can be used as a platform for mission. Moreover, many historic churches are in prime positions in their respective communities. Being a listed building almost automatically attracts more visitors!
• Regeneration and renewal have always been part of the life of Independent churches, though one must be ready for the unpredictable.
• The introduction of expertise and cash to renovate, revitalises both the spiritual and community dimension of church life:
The Methodist Church can demonstrate that increased community use, a renewal of mission and wider community regeneration follow careful restoration of historic churches.
The Church of England can show that giving the church in a historic building the right kind of help over bad times is usually followed by a regeneration of mission.
• English Heritage is there to help and they are keen to work with the churches.
• Vast sums of public money have been allocated to the conservation, restoration and development of historic church buildings in recent years and continue to be available; for example, £16.6m of the Yorkshire and the Humber region Heritage Lottery Fund has gone to support places of worship.
We are being called to think about the buildings that reflect it in a different way; to ask ourselves about ways of presenting historic buildings to the world which will support our mission, benefit our own church life, and support community involvement and community regeneration.
To help with this. The synod has the Listed Buildings Advisory Group. Aptly named, they provide advice to the synod, through the Property Officer / Trust Secretary.