Church Growth and Project Management

Church Growth - Mission and Community Use

Look here for resources to help you frame, plan, develop and deliver your sustainable building project on time and on budget.

The faculty system allows reasonable changes to church buildings so that they can adapt and evolve their service to the needs of the congregation and wider parish. Discering when change is required, what it will sustain, and what shape it will take requires careful understanding of your church building, congregation and parish. It also requires an understanding of the culture and circumstances of the times in which you are operating.

The following resources are a select bibliography of recent writings on some of the key changes and new developments in mission, community use, church attendance and churchmanship that will help you determine what changes may be needed to your church building.

2015 Report on the Future of Church Buildings

Building Faith in our Future Update PowerPoint

Crossing the Threshold - Community use of church buildings (2013)

Churchgoing in the UK Tearfund Report

From Anecdote to Evidence

Good Neighbours Report  - How churches help communities flourish CUF & Theos (Summary)

National Churches Trust Survey how church buildings are maintained, funded, managed and contribute to their wider communities (2011)

Reform and Renewal CofE website

Understanding your parish - Church Urban Fund statistical analysis of your parish

Get your church noticed - how to attract attention in a busy and distracted world



The future of Church Buildings

As part of its Reform and Renewal programme, which was debated in the General Synod in February 2016, the Church of England has today published a report and launched a consultation on proposals to improve the support for its 16,000 church buildings.

The report comes from the Church Buildings review group, which was chaired by the Bishop of Worcester, the Rt Revd Dr John Inge. It constitutes the first attempt in many years to undertake a comprehensive review of the Church of England's stewardship of its church buildings and includes a wide range of statistics, a substantial theological reflection and a survey of various initiatives being taken in individual dioceses. The report goes on to identify a number of principles that should shape the Church's approach and makes some specific recommendations.

The full report can be downloaded here with a summary available here


Managing Major Building Projects

Read advice on developing and managing a major building project

Delegates at a Purcell/HRBA Managing Major Projects Conference at St Mary's Bramall Lane Sheffield in June 2015, highlighted the need for careful and strategic planning when changes to a church building are being considered:

  • Understand the building, its heritage and place in the parish over time
  • Get the community involved with what they would like the church to be used for.
  • Be realistic
  • Communicate with everyone, take on board comments and be willing to make adjustments
  • Plan everything
  • Consulting, planning, fundraising and designing will take 60-70% of the total project schedule
  • Include the congregation and wider community.
  • Have a clear idea of what you want to achieve, having consulted and researched, before contracting the architect.
  • Visit other places which have been through the process.
  • Let the vision drive search for funding, not the other way round.
  • Involve the DAC at an early stage and before wider discussions take place
  • Need for enthusiasm, working as a team, differente skills
  • Consult with bodies such as Historic England, The Georgian/Victorian/Twentieth Century Societies
  • Have a clear vision
  • Fundraising, project managment and communications are vital aspects of a building project

Before you Begin- Pitfalls to Avoid

It's in your hands - the challenge to evolve Church Wardens Training Day 2015


Presentations on the day discussed common deterrents to change, why buildings matter, fundraising, project management and community use of churches.

Requirements for a Successful Project - Becky Payne, HRBA

Before you Begin- Pitfalls to Avoid - Julie Banham, DAC Secretary

Before you Begin - accompanying notes

A Serious Building - Why Bother with a Building? - Rt Revd Dr Tim Ellis

A Serious Building - accompanying notes

Community Engagement and Getting the Job Done - Wendy Coombey

Fundraising - Rebecca Burrows, Purcell

HLF Applications - Louise Clare HLF

Getting the Job Done - Stephanie Norris, Purcell