To deliver a big project, you need to get a group of people together with specific skills and knowledge.
We can help you identify those skills and give you advice to help you run the group in a professional way.
Download the toolkit
What skills do you need?
Ideally, you need people with project management, business and financial skills.
Ask your volunteers what skills they have. Then, in your resource plan, write:
- The full list of skills you think you need
- Those you already have
- Those you hope you can find in the local community
- Those you may have to “buy” in or get from outside experts
To fill the gaps, ask people in your own congregation and the local community if they would like to be involved.
The resource plan will also tell you if your volunteers need training in a specific area. Volunteers need to be trained – they have to know what they are doing.
What roles should you create?
At the very least, you need:
- A chairperson to run the meetings
- A secretary to take the minutes
- A treasurer to keep control of the budget
- A communications person
- A project manager
- Someone to engage with the community
Build your client team
- ChurchBuild: The client team (217.46 KB)
Who should be on the group?
Ask people from the church to join the group and include members of the PCC. Also, invite people from the community or a partner organisation.
But don’t ask your architect to join the group – it’s not a good use of their time (or your money) if they come to every meeting. Send them the meetings’ minutes instead.
The larger the team, the better. Just make sure everyone’s tasks are clear.
Set up your organisation
Funders prefer to deal with properly constituted organisations. So you need to set up a structure to deliver your project and manage it in the long term.
Decide on your group’s terms of reference. They should explain the levels of authority and responsibilities.
Develop a clear set of aims and objectives. Your objectives should explain how you will make your project happen. They should be “SMART”:
Agree a clear chain of command and communication. Think about who will pay the invoices and how the group will approve expenses. And seek the backing of your PCC.
How to run your meetings?
As a group, talk about how you will run your meetings and how you will make decisions.
You may want to agree a set of values. For example:
- Be positive
- Be respectful
- Speak succinctly and let everyone have their say
- Aim to agree by consensus
- Be responsible for tasks you agreed to do and be honest if you need to ask for help
- Listen to hear
Learn to appreciate others’ contributions.
Schedule regular meetings in the diary to keep your project moving and meet somewhere comfortable and practical.
Agree how often people need to come to meetings for the project to work well. But don’t worry if they can’t make it every time.
Finally, agree how you are going to communicate between meetings.
Keep track of your documents
You will create many plans and policies during your project. Collect them all together into one big file. So far, you should have written:
- Your vision statement and mission action plan
- Your building and parish audit
- Your community’s profile and the results of your survey
- Your skills list
- Your objectives
If something changes, don’t forget to go through your documents and update them.
Come up with your policies and procedures
If your project includes building work or provides facilities and activities for people, then you should have a number of policies in place sooner rather than later.
These days, sustainability should be in everything that you do. Funders will expect you to show this.
We can help you turn policy into practice. You can also contact your diocese’s environmental officer for advice.
Make sure that your project is accessible to everyone. And look again at your current activities, including worship.
Maybe this project can improve access to the whole building. This doesn’t always need major remodeling. Simple changes can make a big difference.
If you’re creating a space for children or vulnerable people, then how are you making sure everyone is protected?
Read our guidance on safeguarding policies or contact your diocese’s safeguarding officer.
How are you making sure that everyone can get involved with your project or use its facilities?
Some people might feel uncomfortable allowing certain groups to use a church for specific activities. But equal opportunities apply to everyone.
A public funder might refuse to give you money, if there are some people that you wouldn’t allow to use your church or get involved in your project.
If you think this may become an issue then you should seek advice.
How will you make sure that your project meets current health and safety guidelines? Your building needs to be safe to visit, use and work in.
“You may find that another group’s policies can be adapted to suit your needs. Don’t re-invent the wheel if you don’t have to.”Crossing the Threshold
- Case study: Holy Trinity Parr Mount (293.6 KB)
- Case study: St Peter Notting Hill (1.01 MB)
To make your vision become a reality you need to start thinking about:
- What changes, if any, will you need to make to the building?
- 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
- Making sure you keep people informed