REACH Ely: Additional Resources


Research Reports and Policy Papers

Ely2025: People Fully Alive Diocese of Ely (2015)

  • A document designed to set out an agenda for growth for the Diocese of Ely over the next decade. It has been shaped using suggestions and responses from members of the diocese and shows us that change is to be adopted and embraced. Find out more here.

Taylor Review Report – Sustainability of English Churches and Cathedrals (2017)

  • An independent review, chaired by Bernard Taylor, into the sustainability of Church of England Church and Cathedral buildings.
  • Read more here

Sustaining Major Parish Churches: Exploring the Challenges and Opportunities

  • Historic England Research Report. This report recognises historically significant parish church buildings with a different scale of opportunities and challenges faced compared to the vast majority of 12,267 listed Church of England church buildings.
  • This research, funded by Historic England, provides a robust baseline of evidence based on a sample of Major Parish Churches from across the country.
  • The report focussed on a large sample of buildings, providing both substantive evidence and individual narrative.
  • Read more here.

Social enterprise and rural places of worship in England (2017)

  • Research commissioned by the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2012, and supported by a steering group comprising Plunkett Foundation, Cathedral and Church Buildings Division of the Church of England, Germinate: The Arthur Rank Centre, and Newcastle University.
  • The report illustrates examples of social enterprise researched as part of this project that had a positive impact on the long-term sustainability of the place of worship.
  • Read more here.

The UK Church in Action (2018)

  • Drawing from surveys of the general population, active Christians and church leaders, the report provides an eye-opening look at how UK adults view and describe faith communities. The report is based on a Barna Global study sponsored by World Vision UK.
  • Read more here

Books and Newsletters

Walter, N. And Mottram, A. (2015). Buildings for mission: A complete guide to the care, conservation and development of churches. Norwich: Canterbury Press.

  • This resource is a practical and comprehensive handbook to every aspect of church building care, maintenance and innovation that illustrates new ways of putting church buildings to use as open and welcoming sacred and community spaces.

Archdeacons’ Visitation News – Spring 2019 

Payne, B. (2014). Churches for Communities: Adapting Oxfordshire’s Churches for Wider Use. Oxford: Oxfordshire Historic Churches Trust.

  • The book documents the changes taking place across ecclesiastical England, focusing on twenty-five places of worship in the towns and villages of Oxfordshire by telling the stories of those, largely volunteers, who have given their time and energy to raise millions of pounds and work through the challenges involved in adapting an historic place of worship.

Walter, N. (2014). Church buildings for people. Reimagining church buildings as nourishing places. Cambridge: Grove Books Ltd.

  • This booklet argues that every church building has a personality, and invites you to engage with yours in new and exciting ways.

Toolkits & Guides

ChurchCare guidance notes:

Crossing the Threshold Toolkit by the Diocese of Hereford

  • The toolkit offers step-by-step guidance for parishes beginning to consider making changes to their buildings and who have a vision of opening up their church buildings for wider community use.
  • Click here for more.

Diocese of Truro Toolkit for clergy to assess church buildings and encourage a wider use for communities (2016).

  • This is to help clergy and lay leaders to have a full, creative and open discussion about their church building(s)
  • Click here for more.

Easy Access to Historic Buildings by Historic England.

  • This is a Historic England’s guideline intended for those who own, manage or occupy historic buildings in England.
  • They are also for the benefit of those who will be professionally involved in planning alterations or in advising on alternative forms of service provision.
  • Find out more here

Equipping for Rural Mission by Germinate: The Arthur Rank Centre. Understanding Your Local Congregation and Community.

  • Equipping for Rural Mission is a programme for any rural church, helping congregations to better understand their church and the needs of their local community in order to review and develop their mission, working with others to effect change.
  • The four sessions are designed to run over a period of 6 weeks or more, resulting in specific priorities for community action.
  • It has the potential to involve the whole congregation but can be initiated by a smaller group.
  • Find out more here

The Changing Church: A Guide to Developing and Adapting Church Buildings.

  • The guide sets out the procedures in the Diocese of Chelmsford for making applications for permission to change or develop a church or churchyard.
  • It also provides guidance and advice about the role of a PCC and others in the vision needed to ensure that church buildings are places of welcome, prayer and strength to all members of local community.
  • More can be found here

UK REconomy Project Pilot (ended in June 2017)

ChurchBuild Project Guide toolkit by Walter, N. & Hammett, J. 

  • This toolkit is a collection of more than 30 articles covering many of the practicalities of getting church construction projects built.
  • It is aimed at churches undertaking major church building projects in the UK.
  • More can be found here.

Buildings for Mission. A complete guide to the care, conservation and development of churches. Canterbury.

Case Studies

Sustaining Major Parish Churches: Exploring the Challenges and Opportunities Appendix 50 Case Studies (2016). Historic England Research Report.

  • These case studies have been prepared to provide an overview understanding of a wide sample of major parish churches from the original dataset of 300.
  • The case studies offer a snapshot in time of the experiences of the church today, set out within the context of the historic development and significance of the church building. 

Sustaining Major Parish Churches: Exploring the Challenges and Opportunities. Appendix 12 In-Depth Case Studies (2016). Historic England Research Report

  • These case studies have been prepared to provide an in-depth understanding of a smaller sample of representative major parish churches.
  • The case studies offer a snapshot in time of the experiences of the church today, set out within the context of the historic development and significance of the church building.

ChurchCare case studies

Diocese of Exeter case studies

Church and Community Projects

Unlocking the Next Economy (2018)

  • Stir to Action’s year-long pilot that will explore how physical assets can be an important part of community economic development, and how un- and underused churches could specifically be a part of this process.
  • Unlocking the Next Economy (2018)

Growing the Rural Church Project (2017)

  • The Diocese of Exeter project that works with rural mission communities to develop their resources and support rural mission communities to partner with their local communities and external agencies to find sustainable missional, community, commercial or cultural uses for their church buildings, which benefit the whole community.
  • Growing the Rural Church Project (2017)

Empowering Design Practices (2014-2020) funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

  • The project explored historic places of worship, the people who manage them, and the potential of these buildings as community resources.
  • The aim of the project was to explore how community-led design can help empower those who look after historic places of worship to create more open, vibrant and sustainable places that respect and enhance the heritage of their buildings. 
  • Find out more here

Empowering Design Practices – Enabling Community-Based Leadership in Design: Sustainable Development of Historic Faith Buildings

Page last updated: Friday 11th November 2022 8:10 AM
First published on: 5th August 2022
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