Anglican and Catholic churches in first joint buildings conference

For immediate release: 26 June 2017

A one-day conference looking at making places of worship fit for the future is being held by the Diocese of Hereford along with the Archdiocese of Birmingham and fellow Anglican Dioceses of Worcester and Lichfield.

The cross-denomination event, called Fit for Function, Fit for the Future, Securing the 21st Century Church, is for anyone interested in looking after church buildings or thinking about how, where appropriate to improve the space for wider community use.

A range of religious and heritage experts will be on hand to provide practical advice on sustainable development, how to remain secure but open to the public and how best to fundraise.

The event is particularly timely, as the Heritage Lottery Fund has recently reassessed how it distributes grants for repairs and development of church buildings.

There will also be case studies, demonstrating how churches can be relevant spaces for the 21st Century.

Wendy Coombey, Community Partnership and Funding Officer for the Diocese of Hereford said:

“This conference is almost unique in that it’s probably the first time the Catholic Church and the Anglican Church have worked on a conference of this type.”

“We may have a very different approach to our buildings and the way they can be used –but the one thing we are absolutely in agreement on is the importance of these buildings to the life of our nation and our spiritual and cultural identity.”

“What we want to look at is how we can use and develop our faith buildings and how we make them fit for purpose for the challenge of the 21st Century.

“One of the key aims of the conference is to find ways in which we can support each other, learn from each other and use what resources we have to make sure that all people responsible for the care of church buildings have the tools and resources they need for the challenges of the future.”

Speakers at the event at the Roman Catholic Church of St Mary and St John in Wolverhampton will include representatives from The National Churches Trust, AllChurches Trust Ltd, The Churches Conservation Trust, Historic England, The RC Patrimony Committee and the Heritage Lottery Fund. Major church insurers will also be present.

Tickets are available from: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/fit-for-function-fit-for-the-future-tickets-34717368584