Church Buildings Commission News
The team looking at the responsibility of maintaining, managing and paying for the upkeep of church buildings in the Diocese of Norwich is now several months into its work.
The Church Buildings Commission will make recommendations on its findings in a report to the Bishop of Norwich and the Bishop’s Council of Trustees in 2023.
The Commission team consists of a variety of stakeholders, including heritage experts, clergy and churchwardens and is led by independent chair, Laura McGillivray.
“We have spent our time so far visiting parishes and benefices and hearing about the challenges that come with looking after these heritage assets. Over this time, we have also come across thriving communities in terms of worship and complimentary activities as well. We are working with PCCs and other church members to see how we can help them and reduce their costs. We have also been looking at experiences in other Dioceses as well as hearing evidence from a number of national and regional experts relevant to historic church buildings and their use.”
There are over 650 churches in the Diocese of Norwich and 95% of these are listed buildings. The purpose of the Commission has three main elements:
- To identify the parish churches which are most vulnerable to diminishing usage, financial, practical and volunteer support
- To identify potential opportunities locally and to introduce complementary or alternative uses, drawing on best practice elsewhere
- To identify options for the future as resources continue to diminish.
In June, all PCC secretaries and churchwardens were invited to take part in a survey, the results of which will help to gather data and guide the next stage of the Church Buildings Commission.
From September, a new series of ‘drop in’ public information sessions will take place across the Diocese which are open to anyone. You are welcome to attend your nearest venue.
- 6 September 4pm-6.30pm: Great Yarmouth Minster
- 12 September 4pm-7pm: King’s Lynn Minster
- 28 September 4pm-7pm: St Cuthbert’s Church, Thetford
- 3 October 4pm-7pm: St Peter’s Church Hall, Sheringham
- 4 October 4pm-7pm: St Andrew’s Church, Eaton, Norwich
For more information including the team members and the terms of reference, please see The Church Buildings Commission — Diocese of Norwich