Written Answer: Church buildings and community use

On 4th February 2016, Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP, Second Church Estates Commissioner, responded to a written question from Karl McCartney MP, on the community use of church buildings:

Church CommissionersChurch of England: Community Relations: Written question – 

Karl McCartney (Lincoln) To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church of England is taking to ensure that its buildings are open for wider community use.

Mrs Caroline Spelman: The Church of England’s Cathedral and Church Buildings Division developed the open and sustainable churches initiative five years ago, and now 80% of churches provide a function beyond purely worship, with 54% of Anglican parishes running at least one organised activity to address social or community need. Churches are being used as citizen’s advice bureaux, post offices, shops, night shelters and food banks. Two recent examples of local projects where the Church has opening its buildings for the wider community in the Lincoln Diocese include:

  • St Peter & Paul Church, Algarkirk has been successful in getting through the first stage of HLF funding for a project to host a local heritage centre, explaining the history of the area, including an oral history project and fascinatingdetails about this Grade I medieval church. The church has a collection of Victorian stained glass of national quality and furnishings by J.G. Grace, who also furnished the Houses of Parliament.
  • All Saints Church, Winterton is a Grade 1 Medieval church, which has been restored with new community facilities installed to make it more accessible with the help of HLF and other grants.


(via Parliament.UK)