Happy New Year

Happy New Year from the Maintenance Co-ops Project Team!

As those who came to our conference in York at the end of November last year will have heard, 2014 was a busy year for the MCP Team. It was largely spent getting know our areas, holding launch events and training sessions, and working with local volunteers to set up our first Co-op groups.

For those who couldn’t make it to York to hear about what we’ve been doing, the presentations are all now available to watch on YouTube (click here to view them). In addition to updates from the MCP team, they include our guest speakers too. This means lots of really useful tips and advice ranging from the costs and benefits of opening your building to visitors, to caring for your churchyard, and applying for faculty.

2015 promises to be just as busy, with newly formed co-ops across the country getting ready to undertake baseline surveys and put maintenance plans into action. The Melbury Team in the South West, for example, are gearing up for a gutter clear day at St Osmond Church, Evershot; and in Lincolnshire, volunteers will be learning all about how to deal with damp at St Andrews Church, Sausthorpe. Check out our events page for full details of all upcoming events.

Lincolnshire Grants Workshop, 23rd Sept 2014

The grants workshop that we held in Lincolnshire on 23rd of September was very well-attended, and included a fascinating programme of presentations and workshops. Everyone said they enjoyed the day, both speakers and delegates, and the workshop sessions were great for getting us all thinking, and arguing (politely) about what should be funded and what shouldn’t.

1. Katie Lloyd, HLF, Grants Workshop, 23.09.14 SJ cropped

The day started with an overview of HLF funding from Katie Lloyd of HLF East Midlands , who ran through each of the HLF’s grant programmes, including Grants for Places of Worship, which can provide funds for urgent repairs identified in Quinquennial Inspections.

Marie Chapman and Adam Dixon of Lincolnshire CVS then ran a workshop on preparing a grant application, in which we had to ‘get our ducks in order’, with delegates discussing what needs to be done first when thinking about making an application.

4. Lincs CVS, putting our ducks in order, Grants Workshop, 23.09.14 SJ

Following this we had some short presentations about the grants and advice offered by a number of national organisations:

  • Sarah Crossland spoke about the National Churches Trust and the advice that she can offer to places of worship
  • Valerie Lovett introduced the connexial grants offered by the Methodist Church
  • Dr. David Knight gave an overview of the Church of England’s grants and advice which are provided via the ChurchCare team

12. Dr. David Knight, Churchcare, CofE, Grants Workshop, 23.09.14 SJ

After lunch David was back to run a workshop on writing grant applications, and asked delegates to think about what significance means, how urgent their project is, and why it is justified, and gave advice on how to make these stand out in applications.

15. Dr. David Knight, Churchcare, CofE, is it urgent, Grants Workshop, 23.09.14 SJ

Following David’s workshop, we were very lucky to have a presentation by Peter Arundel of the All Churches Trust, who was supposed to be on holiday this week! He gave a fascinating talk about the work of the Trust and the grants that they can award.

Diana Coulter of Artemis Heritage then ran a fantastic workshop which allowed delegates to put into practice everything that they’d learnt earlier in the day. Everyone was given a copy of a grant application, and after discussing the applications, were asked to move tables to form ‘heritage Trusts’ who would then decide which applications should be awarded a grant, or not, and why.

21. Diana Coulter, Artemis Heritage, All move! Forming charitable trusts, Grants Workshop, 23.09.14 SJ23. Diana Coulter, Artemis Heritage, Trusts deciding which projects to fund, Grants Workshop, 23.09.14 SJ

We ended the day with a short talk from Peter Milnes of Lincolnshire Churches Trust on the work of the Trust and how to join; and an overview of the advice and guidance offered to Anglican churches by the Diocesan Church Buildings Team, including Matthew Godfrey, Support Officer, and Ben Stoker, Development Officer.

Key points from the day included:

  • Make sure that your application is relevant to the outcomes of the body you’re applying to
  • Focus your application on those outcomes
  • If the organisation will only fund certain activities, think about how you can tailor aspects of your project to meet these
  • Make sure the project is feasible and justifiable
  • Talk to the funders and ask their advice

A big thank you to everyone who came, hope to see you all again at future events!