New ideas for churches

Real Buildings: Real Life


See how new ideas are helping to make church buildings places of hope, opportunity, sociability and life-changing experience.


Click here for details of this essential

forthcoming conference




There but not there


“There But Not There reminds us of those who served in WW1 and did not return home. I believe that alongside each symbolic figure stands the spectre of five others who did return and found themselves so changed by what they had experienced that life for them and their families would never be the same again. There But Not There stands as a powerful symbol for us to not forget them too.”

Lt Gen Andrew Graham CB CBE, Chairman of Trustees, Combat Stress


The installation of 51 transparent seated military figures in Penshurst Church over Remembrance 2016 lit a touch paper in the psyche of all who saw it. There But Not There aims to place a representative figure of those who were lost into their place of worship, their school, their workplace or wherever their absence was keenly felt.

There But Not There will be the defining centenary commemoration of the end of the 1914-1918 war, installed where the men and women came from across the country, back in the communities they left behind.

This project aims to Commemorate, Educate and Heal

Transparent silhouettes that sit in chairs or benches and full size metal outline Tommies provide a focus for commemorating all who served and sacrificed at Remembrance Services to be held across the country in 2018, the centenary commemoration of the end of the 1914-1918 First World War.

Funding for communities wishing to host a perspex silhouette installation is now available.

Visit the 'Silhouette Funding' page to find out more.






Historic England has updated some of its places of worship advice webpages. Making changes to places of worship and New and additional uses for places of worship offer advice, guiding principles and sources of further information for those planning to make changes to historic places of worship or who are considering new or additional uses.



Defibrillators in churches

Many churches are installing automated external defibrillators (AED) as their central location means they are often readily accessible.

A cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time. A person's chance of survival falls by about 10%* for each minute that passes without defibrillation.

Locating AEDs on a boundary wall means they can be accessed when the church is open or closed. Training on all types of AED and CPR resuscitation is availble from organisations including  St John's Ambulance.  AEDs give voice commands as soon as the lid is opened so that people with no training can use them.


Sustainable churches


Churches can now work with community and commercial bodies to ensure a Christian presence remains in the community and the building is open, sustainable and relevant to those it serves.

St Michael and All Angels is a Grade II* Norman church in Herefordshire. In 2008 it was closed for worship as the roof had become unsafe.  Grants were secured to make teh building safe and it is now working to install a bakery that supplies local companies. The church will be open for regular worship and quiet contemplative, flexible community space with the advantage of an income stream to sustain and support both building and mission.









Card Readers from Parish Buying

Following the national trial of contactless card readers which was undertaken last year, the Parish Buying service has developed contracts with two companies: SumUp and iZettle;  parishes within the Church of England and the Church in Wales are now able to buy card readers at a discount through the Parish Buying website and use them with specially negotiated low transaction rates. The rationale behind the card reader scheme is:

As many people no longer carry cash it’s becoming increasingly important to provide other ways for people to give. One solution is getting a card reader for your church, which works alongside a smart phone or tablet.

Whether it’s using the Chip and PIN function or the tap of a contactless card, a card reader enables a modern way for people to pay for:  wedding fees; church hall hire; concert tickets; donations; church weekends away; and ‘even teas and coffees.

Information about the equipment needed and the fees involved is included in the FAQs produced by Parish Resources, which also includes some helpful hints.


Tree Surveys

Conservation Foundation are making a map of mature elm trees. If you know of a Great British Elm and want to include it on the map, click here for more detail.

Log your ancient churchyard yew trees here and add images of them to the yew tree section of Explore Churches here


Church of England Environment News

Includes plastic free churches

Free wild seed kits

Parish Buying latest

Setting up a clothes recycling bank

Dates for your diary and events

Click here