I wouldn’t start from here WEST MIDLANDS POWSO GROUP DISCUSSION PAPER ON HERITAGE AND PLACES OF WORSHIP - 2014 IWSFH IWSFH Tina Andrew – PoWSO Church in Wales Tim Bridges – PoWSO Hereford Diocese Pat Evemy – PoWSO Stoke-on-Trent & Newcastle-under-Lyme (Ecumenical) Natalie Hill – PoWSO Gloucester 2010-2013 Andrew Mottram - PoWSO Worcester Diocese Kristina Williamson - PoWSO Lichfield Diocese 2010-1013 IWSFH http://bit.ly/1tZgw4G Diocese of Lichfield website – link at the bottom of Pat Evemy pages 35 pages with cartoons Executive Summary and Recommendations Executive Summary CHURCH OF ENGLAND Inappropriate structures for Century st 21 Personnel Reduced numbers of stipendiary clergy Increased numbers of voluntary ministers Buildings as burdens Too many buildings Not enough people Parochial Independence Recommendations Better data Stop white elephants Strategy for vulnerable churches Essential Actions for Sustainability Co-ordination of advice and information that is regularly disseminated to the appropriate people in each parish, not just the vicar. Early identification of churches at risk physically or financially and a strategic response from the diocese to which churches need to be kept and which can be closed, including heritage and conservation issues. Clergy training must include buildings & volunteer management Succession planning by parish and diocese to ensure that parish projects thrive and are supported by new clergy. Every parish to have access to a fully trained parish administrator to ensure regular maintenance, maximise letting potential of church buildings and keep the paperwork up to date and in good order. This could be shared between parishes or a deanery post. All dioceses to have asset management plans and monitor the maintenance and repair of church buildings Mission action plans, statements of significance and statements of need to all be written and updated regularly by parishes. Maintain PoWSO post to operate at a strategic Diocesan level to give overarching specialist advice to assist Diocesan staff, Archdeacons and others, and to offer targeted specific advice to individual parishes or groups of churches. The consequences of doing nothing Dribble to decline • The buildings and the organisation will continue to function but the quality and effectiveness will become increasingly Minisitry patchy and less attractive. • A few more buildings each year will close for worship and congregation numbers will decline, strategically important Numbers buildings will be lost as only the fittest will survive. • The financial pressures will get worse and some PCCs may decide to resign, there will be greater pressures on dioceses Finances but a reduced ability to offer help. Of greater concern perhaps is that the morale of those involved will continue to decline The Church, its people, its mission, ministry and witness deserves better than this so it is In our opinion the Church of England needs to: Consider buildings as part of pastoral strategy Buildings - their significance, condition, shop front position and maintenance, repair and general operation cost requirements should form a key component in any pastoral strategy for a diocese, archdeaconry or deanery. Train Personnel and Plan for Succession Buildings training (preventative maintenance, legislation, trustee responsibility etc) to be part of clergy training in years 4 – 7. Succession planning is an essential requirement to any community project. Too much hinges on the character and personality of the leaders - usually incumbent status clergy. Without succession planning, changes of personnel creates high risk to any activities more than just worship. Streamline the closure process The closure process, because it takes so long, puts buildings at risk. Furthermore it prevents creative alternative uses being found beforehand which, if they could be actively sought, might actually mean the building doesn’t have to close. To get to the point of closing, the building in question is usually in such a poor state that it will cost a fortune to make usable – which makes it a very unattractive option. Be SMART; be organised; be lean Don’t duplicate · The need for joined up thinking – e.g. the duplication of NCT with Church Care, CBC is becoming operational which is quite wrong. They should be policy, advice and taking on buildings of national importance. CBC could/should be sponsoring posts not doing local stuff. · CBC should do an audit of who is doing what in church domain – too much duplication and doing stuff which other groups/organisations are also doing. Thank you for your attention.