Step 8 - Complete, Handover and Celebrate - Conservation & Listed Buildings


It is important to consider how the new facilities, as well as the existing, will be maintained following completion of the works. According to Historic England, Maintenance can be defined as “routine work necessary to keep the fabric of a place in good order” (Conservation Principles 2008).

The main objective of maintenance is to limit deterioration. Inspections carried out at regular intervals, coupled with prompt action to pre-empt or remedy problems, are the basis of effective maintenance. Maintenance is cost-effective and ensures the health and safety of building users and the general public, and whilst it is often seen as mundane, maintenance forms a cornerstone of building conservation. For guidance on the maintenance of Historic Places of Worship see: https://www.methodist.org.uk/for-churches/property/conservation-listed-buildings/maintenance-and-repair-of-historic-places-of-worship/ and a guidance note on preventative maintenance can be found here: https://www.methodist.org.uk/media/18318/preventative-maintenance.pdf. Also there is a maintenance plan developed in conjunction with other denominations and Historic England which is specific to Historic Places of Worship: https://www.methodist.org.uk/media/20863/maintenance-checklist-pdf.pdf.

The Maintenance Booker initiative has been set up by the National Churches Trust to assist with finding contractors who are competent and experienced in working on historic buildings, including churches.  Services available include gutter clearance and repairs, lightning protection inspections, tree surveys and maintenance as well as asbestos surveys and removal. More Services are to be added soon. There are also grants available.  The website address is www.maintenancebooker.org.uk

Their Maintenance Calendar and Maintenance Co-operative Toolkit can be found on our Maintenance pages.

Your church project will be of interest to other churches as they embark on their own journey. We would therefore encourage you to forward details of your project to the Connexional Conservation Officer so we can include these on our Inspirational Pages so we can showcase throughout the Connexion.

You should also be aware of competitions and awards offered to projects and works of excellence undertaken within our Historic Places of Worship, these include:

  1. SPAB’s John Betjeman Award is given to celebrate excellence in the conservation and repair of places of worship of any faith in England and Wales. www.spab.org.uk/spab-events-awards/john-betjeman-award
  2. The Church Architecture Awards are run by the National Churches Trust and the Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association. The Presidents’ Award is for new church buildings and new designs in church re-ordering, alterations and extensions. The King of Prussia Gold Medal is for innovative, high quality church conservation or repair work projects. www.nationalchurchestrust.org/how-we-help/2017-architecture-awards

 Moreover, there are opportunities to participate in Events and Days to showcase your new church or facilities, such as:

Heritage Open Days is England’s largest festival of history and culture, bringing together over 2,500 organisations, 5,000 events and 40,000 volunteers. Every year for four days in September, places across the country throw open their doors to celebrate their heritage, community and history. Your church could be one of them. 

Ride+Stride is a sponsored bike ride or walk when people all over England walk or cycle between churches, exploring and enjoying the countryside from Cornwall to Northumberland. The money they raise helps to save historic churches, chapels and meeting houses for future generations by helping to fund urgent repairs and the installation of modern facilities. 

Do remember that our own Heritage Officer may wish to include your church on the Methodist Heritage pages.

ExploreChurches – ‘the website for those who love churches’ - is a high quality resource for visitors and churches, supporting and promoting churches of all denominations as fascinating places to visit. Churches can promote their church nationally on the website. From 2018, this website will incorporate information previously available on Church Days. www.nationalchurchestrust.org/explorechurches

We all appreciate how important our physical buildings are as symbols of what we do, but what is also apparent is the need to have a strong digital presence, which has been incredibly important during the recent pandemic when churches had to close.  Consequently, Heritage Digital, has produced, in conjunction with DCMS a new project, brought to you by the Heritage Digital team, Heritage Digital Academy which is a series of unique digital business support sessions focussed on innovation, enterprise, and organisational planning. It also includes helpful tips and tricks on how to improve your digital and online presence in a Heritage context. This may be useful to help you understand ways in which you can continue engagement online on completion of your project. Details here: https://charitydigital.org.uk/heritage-digital-academy, or even how to maintain an online daily diary of the works as they progress.

Evaluating your project in a heritage capacity can be done by using this helpful tool:  www.heritagefund.org.uk/publications/evaluation-guidance 

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