Appoint an architect

Look for an architect who not only understands your building, but also your vision.

We can help you write your brief and understand the tendering process.

Close up of two hands holding a pen drawing an architectural sketch

What should you look for?

You are looking for a person that you want to work with; someone who, not only understands your building, but also your vision.

You are looking for a person with the right technical skills; someone who respects old buildings and understands how to combine old and new.

You need an architect who has experience of the faculty process and has a feel for how churches work.

Obvious things to look for:

  • Technical skills
  • Ability to manage
  • Relevant experience
  • Conservation accreditation (historic churches)
  • Practice of the right size

Not so obvious things to look for:

  • Good working relationship
  • Imagination
  • Keeping to the brief
  • Good overall value
  • Dialogue on the design ideas

“A good architect will listen and want to understand you, your mission and your organisation.”

Crossing the Threshold

Write your brief

A brief is a one page document that you use to tell your architect what you need your project to achieve. Your architect will then use the brief to design a solution to those needs.

Using bullet points, explain:

  • What you need
  • The activities you want to do
  • The number of people you want to have room for
  • The amount of space you need to reserve for specific activities
  • What you do now versus what you want to do in the future
  • And what the most important thing about the project is

 Find out more about writing a brief

Where to look for an architect

To find an architect:

You can invite specific architects to tender for your project. Or you can advertise for one.

Architects who are interested in applying will need:

Find out more about procurement

Choose your architect

Don’t just take the price into account. Quality and experience is also very important.

Shortlist three to five architects to interview. Try and have as many people from your group there.

Ask for:

  • Examples of similar work
  • References from other churches
  • Similar projects you could go and visit

Make sure you follow up on this before you make your decision. And make sure you understand how the architect’s fees and costs work.

You need to be sure you have the right person for the job. You will be working with them for a while.

Find out more about choosing your architect

Case studies

Next steps

Want more help?

Church building projects

Get advice on making church builds missional

Craft skills toolkit

Put traditional building skills at the heart of your project