Churchwardens and many others do a huge amount of work to keep our beautiful churches well maintained. These resources are intended to support those already doing this valuable work and inform any who might be new to a volunteering role in this area. Documenting existing arrangements can also help with delegating tasks and spreading the load of this important work.
Regular maintenance and minor repairs can prevent larger more costly problems from developing, make a building feel welcoming, and can be a great way to engage your community. Even if you feel like your church building has more significant problems, keeping on top of regular maintenance can still slow the rate of deterioration giving you time to plan a project for more extensive repair work.
In order to spot small issues before they turn in to bigger problems it is a really good idea to do a regular building inspection, or document this if it is something you already do. This is a simple walk round inspection looking out for issues such as blocked drains, plants growing in or around walls or damp patches inside. It can be done completely from ground level, using binoculars to look at higher levels of the building. You could even make a habit of doing this with a friend after a service every so often. The following link gives a template and checklist of what to look out for when carrying out a building inspection.
Click here for a series of short videos produced by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) and the National Churches Trust that guide volunteers through each aspect of a regular building/maintenance check.
Both these resources were produced as part of the Taylor Review Pilot Project managed by Historic England.
Having a simple written or photographic record as a result of these inspections can help monitor change in the building and inform the work of your church architect when it comes to your regular detailed Quinquennial Inspection.
Another option is to produce a maintenance plan. These can range from very simple to quite complex, depending on your building and your resources. Below is an example of a simple ‘one page maintenance plan’ which you can download and adapt to suit your needs.
The Taylor Review Pilot Project also developed a more comprehensive maintenance plan template which can be downloaded here.
Maintenance Checklist for places of worship.
These plans can then be used by volunteers or by maintenance contractors. You can identify which jobs can safely be done by who, and delegate tasks to spread the load.
If you would like help adapting one of these templates or producing a maintenance plan please contact Frances Jackson. Your plan will draw on information from your QIR and your church architect may also need to be consulted when planning maintenance.
Frequently asked questions! Click on the links for answers/suggestions.
(to be added to soon)
Links to further resources:
A Stitch in Time – why maintenance and small repairs really matter – handout from a training session which formed part of the Taylor Review Pilot
Church Care Calendar of Care from the Church Buildings Council
The Church Buildings Council Advice and Guidance for church buildings
The SPAB have many good resources relating to the care of historic buildings
Historic England – Maintenance and Repair of Places of Worship