‘For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.’ Ephesians 2:10

Before beginning this step, you should have a clear vision and a mission plan drawn up. Please refer to guidance in Step 1.  

Doing research may be daunting but it is a crucial part of the planning process.  As you begin researching through the 11 categories below, it would be helpful to bear in mind the different risks and the various stakeholders within each element of a PESTLE analysis.  The PESTLE analysis could be used as a lens when researching and reviewing the feasibility of your ideas.

P – Political - What is the current political climate?  Are there initiatives or focuses from the government that may help or hinder your project?

E - Economic - What is the economic climate?  How much the economic growth or decline affect your project?

S- Sociological - Who is in your community?  What are their needs?

T – Technical - Is the project technically feasible?  Are there any technical constraints or benefits?

L – Legal - What are the legal implications?  Are there any restrictions that might affect your project?

E – Ecological - Are there any ecological initiatives in your area?  What is the environmental impact of the project?

There are 3 supplementary pathways that may be relevant for the project and each pathway incorporate specific links, guidance and considerations for these types of projects.  The pathways are designed to be worked through methodically and and have been divided into bitesize steps.  Thus, it is recommended that with this step, you begin with Step 2 of the core pathway followed by Step 2 of a supplementary pathway, as dictated by the parameters of the project.  

Click below to view the supplementary guidance for Step 2 of each pathway.  

Step 2 Conservation & Listed Pathway

Step 2 Net Zero Carbon Pathway 

Step 2 Partnerships Pathway  

Click here to move back to Step 1

Click here to move forward to Step 3 

Topics to Research

1. Quinquennial Inspection Report

Quinquennial Inspection Report

  • Review the last Quinquennial Inspection.  For further guidance, please refer to the Quinquennial Inspections page.  
  • Have the urgent works been completed?
  • Are there upcoming works that should be considered as part of a larger project?
  • The information can be collated in the Church Property Plan, under the heading on  Expected Works in the next 5-10 years.  
2. Community and Church Audit

Community and Church Audit

If you did not conduct a church and/or community audit as part of your mission planning, then it is recommended that you look work through these points. 

3. Circuit and District Mission Plans

Circuit and District Mission Plans

If you have not yet considered how your project might fit into the circuit and district mission plan, it is recommended that you work through these points.  

  • Consult your circuit and district mission plans.
  • Consult your circuit and district property plans.
  • How does your mission plan fit in with these?
  • Speak with the Mission Enabler (if available)
4. Legalities


  • Contact Conservation and enquire about any statutory designations, such as listing or conservation area status.
  • Contact TMCP and enquire about deeds, rights of access and restrictive covenants.
  • Review TMCP’s Development and Works Guide and in particular, the First Steps on a Property Project.  For further information and guidance, you may wish to review TMCP's Property page.  
  • At this stage, it would be helpful to contact TMCP to discuss your  ideas and review any legal implications.  TMCP are able to help with building contracts, title implications, funding & the need for TMCP involvement and the general overriding responsibilities of managing trustees. Get in touch with TMCP.   
5. Previous Experience
  • Refer to the Looking for Inspiration? pages to find out what others have done and speak to them about their redevelopment.
  • Speak to your District Property Secretary about other examples in your district
6. Accessibility

Please review the guidance on the Making Buildings Accessible, which includes The Methodist Church Access Audit and the Accessibility Audit Action Plan.   

7. Rural Considerations

Rural considerations

8. Funding

Due to limited resources, we can only signpost managing trustees to other resources.  In terms of funding opportunities, please refer to the Property Grants page on the website.  

9. Consents


  • Check the Consents Flow Chart to see if consent is needed for the project. To view the relevant Standing Orders about Consent, please refer to CPD Part 9 for the details regarding requirements for property. 
  • Obtain an agreement in principle from the church council to explore options.
  • If your building is a listed building or in a conservation area, then contact the Connexional Conservation Officer for further advice on the need for consents.

10. Options Appraisal

For larger projects, it may be worthwhile having an options appraisal which can give various options based on desirability, viability and feasibility for the site.  This is a professional evaluation conducted by architects and/or surveyors that looks what is possible, what the constraints are and what is likely to be successful. Please contact Property Support to discuss this further if you think the project would need an options appraisal.  As well, Feasibility Funding is available via an application process. Click here to learn more. 

11. Project Team


As part of your research, it is recommended to consider the resources that are available and who will be leading and who will be assisting on this project. The managing trustees can lead or delegate to a project sub-group.  The core tasks for those leading include:

  • Creating a relevant and achievable Mission plan for the church
  • Employing the right people for the job
  • Raising and/or overseeing the fundraising for the project (this can be delegated to a sub-group or a fundraising consultant can be brought in)
  • Answering queries from the contractors or project team
  • Receiving the handover notes from the contractor and leading on the launch of the new chapter for the church

Project Managers can be appointed to monitor the responsibilities and timescales of the project. Having a project manager will lead to efficiencies and most project managers are paid, but some are volunteers.  However, the fees can be part of the budget or the professional fees or some architects can act as a project manager. 

For further support, contact the Property Support Team, District Property Secretary and/or District Mission Enablers for further support.

Further Resources


A church building projects website created by Archangel Architects that offers very useful guidance to help a church through all the stages of a project. 

They offer a free Health Check which can be downloaded for a ‘quick and easy way to find out which are your biggest constraints, and the best opportunities for improvement’. 

You can read about the top 25 entries for the Community Outreach competition from Ecclesiastical Insurance.

Caring for God’s Acre is a non-religious charity dedicated to conserving and celebrating burial grounds and encouraging a holistic approach to management. They provide guidance on how churchyards can be places for people, for wildlife and also sites for events and learning. 

Chapter 3 Developing a Team and Assessing Your Skills and Abilities from the Crossing the Threshold Toolkit.  This resource is produced by the Diocese of Hereford in collaboration with other churches.