Planning a Re-ordering Project

The first stage of development and the key to good management is the church’s own vision for worship, mission and ministry. Here we share links to some practical resources for parishes thinking about, or embarking upon new development projects.

A common feature of successful development projects is the careful attention given to the early stages of preparation, including developing a parish vision and strategy, engaging with wider community interests, and thinking about functions that need to be supported and accommodated, before moving on to the more concrete stages of project design.

How to get there from here...

The following resources are recommended as a starting point:

(click the highlighted title to access these)

Read our page on How to make a good start

The webpage for the Diocesan Advisory Committee for the care of churches (DAC) for Newcastle Diocese offers guidance on the Faculty rules and process for obtaining approval for changes to church buildings.

Churchcare advice and guidance (Church of England Cathedral and Church Buildings Division) – informative web pages with access to a wide range of topics and resources to help in the planning of developments involving changes to, and wider community use of, church buildings. This includes useful advice on preparing Statements of significance and needs.

New Work in Historic Places of Worship (English Heritage, revised 2012) - provides advice on how to approach making changes to historic places of worship and sets out English Heritage's general views on the subject. It also contains detailed advice on some common issues and an outline of the processes for authorising such work. Available as a pdf only, free of charge (32 pages).  

Crossing the Threshold (Hereford Diocese, revised edition 2017) - an easy-to-use Toolkit with step by step information and practical advice to help parishes get the best from their buildings for wider community use. Click on the link to access the whole document (to download free of charge) or individual topics.

How to Make the Business Case for your Project (The Churches Conservation Trust & Prince's Regeneration Trust) - a step-by-step business planning toolkit for volunteer and community groups seeking to make the case for project funding and ensuring long-term project sustainability. It is aimed at non-experts, and illustrated with helpful hints and case studies. A large document, free to download.

Recommended reading

Making Church Buildings Work by Maggie Durran, Canterbury Press Norwich 2005. A practical how-to guide to project planning, from repairs and maintenance to full-scale re-ordering to accommodate new forms of worship and mission.  Available from Church House Bookshop, Amazon, or other retailers.