Seminars will help congregations with building maintenance

Caring for church buildings is one of the most challenging tasks facing any congregation or presbytery. Whether you are undertaking a major refurbishment of your church or halls, or you simply need to make a roof repair, building repairs raise questions about everything from funding sources to planning regulations.

Rev Marc Bircham
Rev Marc Bircham, minister of St Madoes and Kinfauns Parish Church takes a look at progress on the new £1.5 million Madoch Centre, which will include worship space and community facilities. The congregation worked with the General Trustees and engaged in a massive fundraising campaign to make the project possible.

That’s why this autumn The Church of Scotland General Trustees are holding a series of free seminars designed to support fabric conveners and other church members with responsibilities for building maintenance.

General Trustees Chairman Raymond Young who stepped into the role earlier this year, encouraged everyone with building responsibilities to attend a seminar.

“If you are a property convener or you are caring for any church building, these seminars are for you,” Mr Young said.

“We hope you will come along and find out about changes to the Lottery Heritage Grant scheme following the discontinuation of the Grants for Places of Worship Scotland scheme.

“This is being replaced by two schemes, currently in operation south of border. The new Scottish version will be jointly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund Scotland and Historic Environment Scotland.

“You will also have an opportunity to speak to staff and trustees and to will learn what congregations can do to ensure their buildings are fit for purpose in the 21st century.”

Last year the General Trustees, who hold the title to the majority of church buildings and glebes, contributed a total investment of £6.5m in loans and grants to maintain and improve church buildings. In the same period, the Grants for Places of Worship Scotland Scheme contributed in excess of £2.5m in grants for repairs to listed church buildings.

This year The General Trustees have completed a new health and safety toolkit, which has now been sent out to all Church of Scotland congregations and will be available for download from the Church of Scotland website this autumn.

Hosted in six cities across the country, the seminars will offer the latest information about grants, loans, 5-yearly inspections and health and safety issues.

Sign up for an opportunity to talk directly with General Trustees and staff members as well as to network with other property conveners. (pdf file)

The seminars all run from 10am to 4pm with lunch provided.

Attend a seminar

Aberdeen 30 Augustat Mannofield Parish Church

Inverness 31 Augustat Inshes Church

Edinburgh 8 September at St Andrew’s and St George’s West

Perth 13 September atSt Matthews

Stirling 25 November at Stirling University

Glasgow 30 November at Renfield St Stephen’s

Application form (pdf file)