A conservation management plan is a useful tool for recognising and reconciling tensions that may come up between the necessary life of the worshiping community and the significance of the place.

It helps the church and its community to rise above these tensions in order to develop and grow.

Conservation management plans are likely to be especially useful to major churches and cathedrals.

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Interior view of St Peters church Highfield

Why do you need a CMP and who is it for?

Some churches are so complex and significant that a statement of significance and needs is not adequate.

Some projects will have a very large impact on the building or are quite controversial.

If this is the case, you should consider putting together a CMP for:

  • Applications for permissions (e.g. faculty, planning permission, listed building consent, scheduled monument consent, etc.)
  • Applications for grants to assist with the care, conservation and development of your church and churchyard
  • The management of your church: to make sure its values and significance are maintained and enhanced; to avoid damage and potentially expensive mistakes

What does a CMP do?

A conservation management plan helps you:

  • Understand the church building and site and its use by the community
  • Assess its significance
  • Identify potential and constraints
  • Develop management policies

What to include in your CMP?

A conservation management plan is a straightforward document. It should be done within a reasonable budget and time span.

It is not a major piece of original scholarly research. It is an attempt to synthesise the available information in the context of current knowledge and best practice.

A CMP is between 10,000-30,000 words (copiously illustrated) and is made up of the following parts:

Preliminaries and introduction
Understanding the place and community
Assessment of significance
Defining potential and constraints
Conservation and management policies

Make it happen

Follow our step-by-step guide on how to make a conservation management plan happen.

Identify possible partners
Appoint the right people
Write the CMP
Distribute and archive it

Source URL: https://www.churchofengland.org/resources/churchcare/advice-and-guidance-church-buildings/conservation-management-plans