Church buildings are an important part of community life across North America. While Christianity’s position in contemporary culture has undergone significant changes in the last few decades, church buildings remain an integral part of many neighbourhoods and cities for both the people who worship in them and the community that surrounds them. For many congregations, church buildings are essential to their ministries and offer numerous opportunities for outreach and connection in their neighbourhoods. For others, the responsibilities attached to maintaining a church building in the face of smaller budgets and fewer volunteers have become burdensome and can stand in the way of effective ministry. For others still, there is a growing awareness that church buildings can be leveraged to create additional revenue streams to support enduring ministry while, at the same time, allowing for expanded outreach and community partnerships.
Recognizing the shift in the way congregations and presbyteries are looking at church buildings, a committee made up of departments of the national office has drawn together resources for congregations considering a building project or selling their church property.
Drawing together current resources is a first step of many. The committee spearheading this initiative will also gather:
- Resources to help congregations and presbyteries have conversations about church buildings
- Stories of congregations that are using their buildings creatively
- Guidelines for congregations working with a development company
- Expanded list of referrals to resources and experts
The resources that are currently available for congregations exploring new possibilities for their church buildings are as follows:
Practical Guidelines to Consider When Undertaking a Building Project/Selling a Church Property
- When you Build: A Guide for Congregations in the Presbyterian Church in Canada
- Guidelines for Successful Projects
- Amalgamation & Dissolution Guidebook
- Equipping for Eldership – Selling Church Property
Raising Funds to Undertake a Building Project
Theological & Missional Considerations
- Equipping for Worship: Renewing Space: Redesigning Worship Space
- Equipping for Evangelism and Outreach: Sharing Space, Using Your Church Building for Outreach
- Equipping for Congregational Development: Holy Spaces, Presbyterian Liturgy, Theology and Architecture
- Self-Assessment linking mission to building
Sharing Church Space
- Equipping for Eldership: Charging for Church Facilities Part I
- Equipping for Eldership: Charging for Church Facilities Part II
- Equipping for Eldership: Using and Maintaining Church Facilities
- Episcopal Tool for tracking Church Schedules, see Building Time-Use Survey
- Accessibility Checklist
- Presbyterian Church Building Corporation: Loans for Renovation Projects
- Lending Fund Application
- Presbyterian Church Building Corporation Loan Application
- Committee on Church Architecture (COCA): COCA provides guidance and resources to congregations looking to explore a building project and approves plans for construction on buildings that belong to The Presbyterian Church in Canada.
- Equipping for Eldership: Committee on Church Architecture
*As with all outside resources, resources available through other organizations or denominations are to be used with discernment.
- Episcopal Church Building Fund
- Sacred Places
- Places of Faith
- Heritage Trust (Ontario)
- The Episcopal Diocese of New York Building and Structural Resources
Our committee would love to hear from you! If you have a story about how your congregation has creatively used your church building or you’ve come across a useful resource about church buildings, please contact Jen de Combe (jdecombe [at] presbyterian [dot] ca).