Tackle those essential maintenance tasks sooner rather than later and you reduce your longer term costs significantly.
That’s the message from CRE 2018 exhibitor the National Churches Trust, who believe a well-maintained place of worship is an important tool for mission and outreach.
‘No matter how important it is to them, congregations frequently find it difficult to look after their building cost-effectively and in particular how to fund any major works,’ says the trust’s Cicely Barnett. ‘At its most extreme this can lead to closure or demolition and the possible end of the local church itself.’
As of this month (Sep 2018), the trust’s new free, web-based maintenance service, MaintenanceBooker, is available across England and Wales following a pilot project in Yorkshire in 2017.
Cicely has been working with project manager Janet Edmond, alongside several denominations across the UK. They are available on Stand S100 at CRE 2018.
‘There has been a lot of support for MaintenanceBooker as a way to help faith volunteers and staff find qualified contractors more easily,’ she explains. ‘MaintenanceBooker can help groups of churches, too and this can significantly lower maintenance costs.’
‘Maintaining your church building is the bedrock of keeping it open,’ believes Becky Clark, director of churches and cathedrals at the Church of England. ‘Simple tasks like keeping gutters and drains clear, identifying problems with trees and properly maintaining them and ensuring stonework is well looked after, will help prevent unexpected large repair bills.’
Churches and chapels of all denominations can use the MaintenanceBooker service to request online quotes for essential maintenance services from qualified contractors before going on to book the job.
Grants have been made available by The Pilgrim Trust and the National Churches Trust to help congregations to get started. They are easy to apply for through the MaintenanceBooker website and applicants will also receive a quick decision on their application. You can find out more about MaintenanceBooker at CRE 2018 and by watching an introductory video here.
* The National Churches Trust are on stand S100 at CRE 2018
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