On 10th July 2017 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered a written question from Matthew Offord MP about camping inside church buildings:
Dr Matthew Offord (Hendon) To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what discussions the Commissioners have had with Church of England representatives on expanding the availability of champing in England’s churches.
Dame Caroline Spelman:‘Champing’, or overnight camping in a church, is a new form of holiday pioneered by the Churches Conservation Trust. It currently uses only closed churches, 12 of which across the UK are available for visitors to stay the night in, between April and September. The Church of England is however working in partnership with the Churches Conservation Trust to bring the Champing model into operation for open churches, to offer high end accommodation that enables congregations to generate income, whilst also maintaining space for worship and community use.
The Church of England has developed a model for a high quality and revisable timber structure, which can be placed in open churches to provide a lettable insulated space, which in turn can generate income needed to maintain the building, thereby releasing money for mission. Designed to support rural parishes this model is being piloted in the Diocese of Hereford thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and AllChurches Trust. More information is at: http://www.champing.co.uk/