What is your special part to play in God’s mission of love and the reason for your church’s existence?
Let us help you to develop your vision of the future and how your building can be used in all sorts of creative ways to fulfil God’s mission.
Download the toolkit
- Chapter one: Developing your vision (2.9 MB)
Step one: write a vision and mission statement
A vision is a picture of what you want to achieve. It’s your dream.
Write it down in one sentence. But don’t be too specific. Ask yourself:
- What do you want for the medium and long-term?
- How do you see your church building serving God’s mission locally?
We want to make our church more welcoming and by the provision of facilities be able to share our space with support services for children.
“There is no formula for what will work in any given church… however, seeing what others have done, what worked and what didn’t… can help to stimulate ideas and discussions.”The English Parish, Church through the Centuries (DVD-ROM), The Christianity and Culture Project at the University of York.
Step two: write a mission action plan
A mission action plan explains how you will achieve your vision. It describes:
- Your aims (i.e. objectives or goals)
- What you do (i.e. actions)
- Who you do it for
- And the benefits
This means that any ideas you come up with to change your building will be set in a mission context from the beginning.
Step three: assess your building
Once you have a vision for the future, start to think about how you will make it a reality. If you want to use your building more, then you need to know what condition it’s in.
- Look at your latest Quinquennial Inspection to find out about pending repairs and the building’s overall condition.
- How do you currently use your church building? Are there wasted areas or areas filled up with clutter?
- Do you have a hall or another building? And is it being used effectively?
- What about maintenance? Is it effective? Do you do regular inspections?
- What is your energy use?
- Is your building listed, in a conservation area, or on the Heritage at Risk register?
Take the health check
- Is your building a Millstone or a Springboard? (772.14 KB)
Step four: parish Audit
What does your own congregation have to say? Organise a meeting to find out and get those interested to come.
- What do you already have? (e.g. church, hall, churchyard, etc.)
- What is your core purpose or do you have more than one?
- How do your church members connect with the community?
- How do other people engage with your building?
- What does the building mean to you?
- How do others see you and the church building?
- How much do you know about the management of your building(s)?
- Are you making the most use of your building?
- What is your vision for your church?
With this information, create a document that describes as many aspects of your church as possible:
- The style of worship
- A profile of the people who come
- Your current resources and the activities that take place inside the church
- The current relationship with the local community
Once you understand your community, you will know how your building could help them.
Don’t forget to speak to the other groups who use the church too! The Mothers’ Union, the cleaners, the bell-ringers… they all might have something valuable to say.
Parish audit tools
- The pizzamat (413.17 KB)
Step five: visit other churches
There are many good examples out there. Go and look at other churches doing similar projects. Talk to them. See how they did it and what you can learn from them. Ask them who they went to for help.
Talk to your Diocesan Advisory Committee secretary to find out about projects in your local area.
Find some wining project ideas from Ecclesiastical Insurance
- Case study: Holy Trinity Parr Mount (293.6 KB)
- Case study: St Peter Peterchurch (332.12 KB)
To make your vision become a reality you need to start thinking about:
- Gathering information and consulting the wider community
- What changes, if any, you’ll need to make to the building
- Putting together a team of people to take this forward
- Talking to your diocese about faculty
- Developing a structure to manage the project in the short, medium and long term
- The long-term future of your project’s activities