RCfE has a strong research base, both in its origins and in how it has developed since starting in July 2019. The project was a response to two reports:
- REPORT OF THE CHURCH BUILDINGS REVIEW GROUP Summary This is the first attempt in many years to undertake a review of the Church (Church of England, 2015) report which recommended “regular diocesan church building reviews” as an integral part of deanery Mission Action Planning and diocesan vision and strategy; and
- The Taylor Review: Sustainability of English Churches and Cathedrals (DCMS, December 2017)
The Church of England have produced a strategic review toolkit to allow a more coherent purpose for each church building to be described. Church buildings will likely fall within one of the six categories described by the CofE buildings team defined: Parish Churches, Chapels of Ease, Festival Churches, Resourcing Churches, Major Churches and Minsters. Although there is the option of closing, mothballing or repurposing a church building as ‘churches at a crossroads’ and ‘marketable churches’. Strategic planning for church buildings
The Church of England Environment Programme who have produced their Practical Path advice on heating and energy use. These will help you work out the best ways to reduce the energy consumption of church buildings, before looking at renewable ways to generate energy to offset their remaining carbon footprint. The practical path to net zero carbon for churches
In 2020 Theos and the Church Urban Fund completed three years of research which explored how the “characteristics of a flourishing church are those which promote meaningful relationships”, elaborating on the qualitative research into the effective attributes of:
presence, perseverance, hospitality, adaptability, generosity, participation, & invitation
Their Growing Good report concludes with recommendations for broadening how church size is measured to include the reach of the church into its community, putting strategic social action and volunteering at the lead of mission and ministry. Growing Good: Growth, Social Action and Discipleship in the Church of England
Stewardship, a Christian philanthropic charity, published guidance on supporting churches’ financial planning in the pandemic era Financial Planning and Budgeting for Churches
The National Churches Trust published The House for Good report in November 2020 describing the social and economic value of churches – the people and the buildings during the early stages of the covid-19 pandemic. The economic and social value of church buildings to the UK
“The impact of COVID-19 has made the social value of churches even more relevant.
Church buildings are the ‘key places’ where we will start to rebuild our communities.
We need to protect these vital life-changing buildings now and for future generations.”