'Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.' Philippians 1:6

As you approach the completion of the development part of your project, there will be several actions listed below that you still need to do.   

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 6 of the core pathway followed by Step 6 of a supplementary pathway, as dictated by the parameters of the project.  

Click below to view the supplementary guidance for Step 6 of each pathway.  

Step 8 Conservation & Listed Pathway 

Step 8 Net Zero Carbon Pathway

Step 8 Partnerships Pathway  

Click here to move back to Step 7 

Actions to do

1. Handover

Here are some useful terms that are relevant to the end of a building project and your architect will be able to explain and ensure that they are carried out.

  • Snagging does not have an agreed meaning, and is not a contractual term. It is a slang expression widely used in the construction industry to define the process of inspection necessary to compile a list of minor defects or omissions in building works for the contractor to rectify. 

  • A certificate of Practical Completion marks the point at which the building can be handed over, occupied and used.   

  • A defects liability period is a set period of time after a construction project has been completed during which a contractor has the right to return to the site to remedy defects. The defects liability period begins upon certification of practical completion and typically lasts six to twelve months.

  • A completion certificate is proof that the building work has been carried out in accordance with Building Regulations and therefore is legally safe.
2. Review Project Plan

Remember, your project plan is a living document. Keep referring to it and making any required changes as your project completes.  This will be useful when reviewing if the project was successful in meeting expectations.  Is it on budget?  Has it lived up to what we expected?  

If your costs change, look through your project plan to see what impact this will have elsewhere on your project. You will need to regularly check that you are still financially viable.

Before, during and after the development and realisation of your project you need to keep both your action plan and budget up-to-date. It may be useful to schedule a review of these documents at regular intervals to keep your project on track.  Maintaining a business-like approach is vital. 

3. Maintenance

Preventative maintenance keeps up a building’s appearance and extends its life. It is recommended to include Maintenance Plan here as part of any handover.  This will help to prevent the loss of original fabric, as less material is lost in regular, minimal and small-scale work than in extensive restoration projects. Preventative maintenance makes economic sense as it may reduce or potentially eliminate the need for, and the extent of, major repair projects.  Click here for further information about Regular Inspections.

Methodist Insurance has created a Risk Calendar to help you look after and protect your church and those who use it.  Click here to view.  

SPAB (Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings) has a series of helpful maintenance videos.  Click here to watch. 

Quinquennial Inspections are the foundation inspection that occurs every 5 years.  This inspection should help Managing Trustees to look after their building and effectively plan for repairs.  

Lastly, it is recommended to plan and make a budget for maintenance costs.  For example, if the new building has more glass, how often should the glass be cleaned and what is the cost?  It is good practice to regularly set aside money to cover these costs.  You would need to make a request for money from TMCP Finance as maintenance costs are not normally covered as part of the project expenses.  

4. Claiming Money, Submitting Reports

Some funders will release funding in instalments, or upon receipt of paid invoices. The final claim may be a little different. When your project is complete, funders will expect to see a report. This is usually in the format of a question and answer form, and it’s a simple procedure. Now’s the time for your ‘after’ photos demonstrating what has been achieved. So tell the funder what you’ve done and remember what you said you were going to do in your application.

  • Explain what happened, including what went well and what didn’t go as planned. Funders like to know this – it may help them advise another project in the future.

  • State which of your objectives and outputs you met. Be honest. If you exceeded them great! If you didn’t, tell them what you have achieved and why the figures differ from your application. And if you are going to be able to meet them in the near future then explain how.

  • Clarify how much your total project actually cost and how this has been funded, from all of your funders.

  • Tell funders how your project will now progress in the future. Some funders will hold back the final instalment of the grant money until they receive this final report. We’ve already mentioned exit strategies in the planning stage, but a funder may want to know whether your plans for ‘life after funding’ are the same or whether they have changed. Completion of the project may open up other opportunities that you hadn’t considered

5. Consents

Be sure to mark the project complete on Consents site as this will help with housekeeping on the online system. 

6. Marketing your Project

Once the building is ready to be occupied, you will need to promote the project. Once you are sure everything is on target is a good time to think about this. This might take the form of mailings, articles in the local press, interviews on radio, leaflets, posters or a regular newsletter.

Make sure your website is up to date and makes clear what new facilities you are offering and how people can make use of them e.g. what are the opening hours, what are the charges? One way to get good publicity is to plan a special launch event.

Send the details of the project to Property Support to be added to Inspiration pages. Please remember to include a couple of high quality images as well as tell the story of the project.  If there are people in the photographs, you will need to get their permission. A template can be found here.   

7. Impact and Evaluation

How will you know when you have succeeded? It may be that simply by there being a toilet where there was none before, your project is deemed successful. However, funders will be looking for other ways to judge success e.g. the number of people who can now use the building, the increase in events, an increase in income.

Finding an effective way to evaluate the success of your project can also help you to persuade those who weren’t originally keen and prove to supporters that their involvement was worthwhile. And for the future, it will show funders that you can manage a successful project and help you when you are seeking funding for your next one.

For some projects, the final report will be the time when a community group can step back and consider whether their project has achieved what it set out to achieve. For others, it may not be possible to do this for a year or longer. If your project aimed to get more people using a church building during the first year, then you won’t know whether you have succeeded until a year later.

Part of the evaluation will be recording facts i.e. how many events, how many individuals attended the coffee mornings, how many hirings per month are now happening.

This is why it is important to have your original data from the start. You need to know how many people used the building originally, so that you have something to compare it against. The National Lottery Community Fund provides useful guidance on evaluation

Part of the evaluation may include consulting the community again. There are some results of a project that cannot be easily quantified.

For example, following the completion of your project, is the community happier and more vibrant now there is more going on? The only way to find out is to ask them if they feel happier. You may obtain some good quotes which (with permission) can be used to bring your report to life.

Evaluation is important because it’s a chance to measure the success of the project. Money is a limited resource, and funders are keen to ensure that the funds they have are used to best effect. If your project has a huge impact, perhaps other communities up and down the country can consider following in your footsteps?

You could call this working out the project’s legacy. These can cover a wide spectrum and be tangible and non-tangible. Tangible outcomes will be immediately obvious e.g. the building’s fabric is in good condition, there is a new toilet, improved accessibility so everyone can come in through the main door. It will also be longer-term outcomes e.g. the church is now open 6 days a week and is being used by 300 people a week, the older people in the village now have a social lunch session every week.

Intangible outcomes can include examples like new networks that have been formed such as a support network for older people in the village through the weekly lunch, and the congregation supported by the new Friends Group has a new confidence and feel more positive about their building. They also have a new set of skills and feel empowered to go onto bigger and greater things and already have plans!

8. The Launch - Opening and Welcoming

This is another milestone in the life of your project. Make sure you celebrate your achievements. You will have worked hard to realise your activity or project. It is also a perfect excuse to communicate your success to the local community. You could organise a launch or an official opening ceremony and get someone to cut a ribbon.  Other ideas include:

  • Make sure the local press is there to record the event.

  • Invite the funders and those who donated to your project. Offer them the opportunity to come and look at what you have done with their money.

  • Invite local dignitaries. They’re usually available for drinks and nibbles. You could also invite your MP. They are always glad to support local projects.

  • Invite everyone who volunteered or offered ‘in-kind’ support on the project to say ‘thank you’.

  • Take photographs during the launch. They will be useful for more press releases and exhibitions. Put them up on the website to illustrate the new facilities.

  • Invite the press. 

  • Invite your District Chair and Superintendent or other relevant people from your circuit or district.

  • Provide feedback to community members unable to make your celebrations about what you have achieved.

Opening the doors and encouraging people to come in and giving them a warm welcome. There are two national initiatives that you can take part in and benefit from the overall publicity and guidance.

You can find guidance on best practice and useful ideas on how to open/open more often on the following websites:

Top Tips

  • Keep an evidence file for your achieved outputs. If future evaluation of your project is required, make a note of when you need to complete it by.

  • How long do you need to keep the paperwork for? Check with funders. Publicly- funded grant schemes (such as those run by councils, Europe, Government, lottery) may need to be audited at some point, so auditors may wish to have a look at your paperwork.

  • Don’t forget – now’s the time to publicise your new community facility. Encourage community groups to book it and use it! Put it on the church and community websites, the parish newsletter and noticeboard, and contact any groups you consulted with.

  • Finally, remember to enjoy your new facility. Be proud of what you have achieved
9. Enter your Project for a Competition

The Marsh Award for Innovative Projects run in partnership with the National Churches Trust recognises a congregation running an innovative community project in a church building. 

Each year, the Christian Funders’ Forum holds an award ceremony to celebrate the outstanding work that is being done by churches, charities and volunteer groups across the UK and beyond. 

10. Letting out the Building

Please review the information about Letting Property and Third Party Use on TMCP's website and get in touch with TMCP for further guidance.