CORONAVIRUS UPDATE (May 2020)
At its meeting in May 2020, the Methodist Council decided on a moratorium on grant applications from the CPF Speculative fund due to financial uncertainty with the current pandemic. This moratorium will be reconsidered when the Council reviews its budget at its next meeting in October.
All prospective applicants have been informed. The Connexional Property team remain available to advise on property matters. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
The Methodist Council has set aside £1m from the Connexional Priority Fund to support managing trustees with property matters. To date the fund has been utilised to offer consultant surveyors to advise managing trustees across the Connexion on the opportunities for their buildings and site, and to begin the development of a better resourced property function for managing trustees.
It is often the initial stages of exploring possibilities for church buildings that require significant funds to be spent without any guarantee of a return or even satisfactory outcome. The Property Development Committee (PDC) has therefore agreed to make money from this Fund available for managing trustees at the exploratory stages. The aim is to offer as many managing trustees assistance as possible and therefore the PDC has decided that up to £10,000 can be made available to a body of managing trustees upon the basis that this covers up to 60% of the exploratory costs with the remaining 40% being funded by the local Church, Circuit or District.
In making this application, managing trustees are asked to provide the following information:
- Description, with plan, of the current church site/potential church site, its current use and the limitations of the current church site that the managing trustees are seeking to address;
- Copy of local Church mission development plan and Circuit mission development plan;
- Key ministry and missional needs that the local Church has identified (if not set out in the mission development plan) and how this fits within the Circuit mission development plan;
- Copy of District Development/Mission plans (or draft if not finalised);
- Statement of support from District and Circuit (if local Church application);
- If disposal is being considered the managing trustees response to the questions in footnote of the Connexional Property Strategy
- What the vision of the local Church and/or Circuit is in respect of current church buildings or land/buildings that might be purchased and how will this vision be seeking to further Our Calling;
- Possible partnerships as set out in the Connexional Property Strategy that are being explored or if not, why partnership is not being explored;
- Explanation of how speculative funding will be utilised by the managing trustees (cost estimates should have be obtained prior to making applications);
- Where the other 40% of the funding is bring provided from;
- Written confirmation from the District Property Secretary and District Chair to the application being made.
You may find it helpful to look at www.methodist.org.uk/property/project as an additional resource.
The documents for the application should be sent to Helen Byrne at firstname.lastname@example.org. The PDC will then review the application before making a decision.
Terms of the Funding
- Speculative funding when provided will be on the basis that it is a repayable grant unless the land or property is retained for mission;
- There will be no interest charged;
- The grant will be repayable if the property or land that the speculative funding relates to, is disposed of within 5 years of the grant being given.
Funding will not be provided for speculative costs that relate to:-
- The repair or maintenance of property;
NB :- There may be exceptions to this restriction if it can be demonstrated that the repair and maintenance of a property is part of the local Church or Circuit seeking to furthering Our Calling and give expression to the mission development plan of the local Church, Circuit and District. It should however be noted that the funding available is only for the speculative stages, the cost of repair and maintenance will not be covered by the fund.
- Residential property (manse or a residential property that was purchased or retained for income generation) unless speculative funding is being sought to assist the managing trustees in maximising the value upon disposal e.g. through seeking planning permission or developing the land.
- Property that was purchased or gifted to the local church or circuit purely for income generation.