Making changes

As beautiful and fascinating as many of our church buildings are, not all are well suited to modern worship, nor do they necessarily form the central function in communities they once did.  The expectations of today’s congregations are different from those of previous generations and in order to keep church buildings in active use some degree of change may be needed.

Relatively few church buildings are making the most of their full potential, and many parishes worry that their listed status means they won’t be able to change a thing, and that they will need to spend huge amounts of money to make a real difference.  But every church has some capacity for change, and relatively small modifications can make an enormous difference.

A key priority for the diocesan vision is to approach the use, upkeep and future of our church buildings in bold and creative ways, and this will undoubtedly involve some degree of change.  As a result we want to encourage all those who use or have an interest in church buildings to think imaginatively and propose changes which help steer our church buildings towards a more sustainable future.

The guidance available in this section is intended to help parishes understand what is most important about their churches, and to make informed decisions about potential future change.

Please contact us for further advice and support in making changes to your church building.

Useful Links

ChurchCare – The Church Buildings Council provides advice on a variety of aspects of making changes, from funding, extending use and physical changes

Historic England – guidance covering a range of alterations to churches with best practice examples


Statements of Significance and Need – Guidance sheet 1

Making Changes: Where to start with reordering – Guidance sheet 2

Making Changes: Informal Proposals – Guidance sheet 3

Making Changes: How to submit a good faculty – Guidance sheet 4

Making Changes: Installing kitchen or servery facilities