Church raises £140,000 renting out car park space
A London church has raised over £140,000 for community projects by renting out its car parking spaces.
The impressive sum has been garnered by All Saints, Islington, in just over four years by advertising its available spaces on ParkAtMyHouse.com
Handily for the church, it is located near the busy St Pancras Station, which handles thousands of rail passengers each day.
Since registering with ParkatmyHouse in November 2007, the church has had over 5,000 car parking bookings, with over a quarter being rail passengers.
It has proved a hit with train passengers looking for a safe, convenient and affordable place to park close to the station.
The money earned has been put to good use serving the community through projects for the homeless and parents.
Projects include the Rainbow mother and toddler group, an Alcoholics Anonymous group, and a scheme feeding and shelter local homeless people.
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Vicar Ted Fell of All Saints, Islington said: "Thanks to ParkAtMyHouse and the 1,000 or so people who parked with us in 2012, we've been able to fund events like Rainbow, a carer and toddler group for the whole community. More parishes could and should benefit from renting out their unused outdoor space."
All Saints is not the only church to have seen an opportunity with its parking spaces. According to ParkAtMyHouse, the number of churches signing up to rent out their parking spaces has doubled in the last 12 months.
The majority are in London but other churches around the country are starting to cotton on to the untapped resource sitting in their own church grounds.
Alex Stephany, chief executive of ParkAtMyHouse said: "We're proud to be able to connect these churches with people who need to rent the spaces. It's really exciting to see these business-savvy churches taking part in the so-called 'sharing economy' and reaping the benefits. In turn, they're providing a valuable service to their local communities.
"It would be great to see more churches making proper use of their property - it's free for them to list their spaces so they really have nothing to lose.
"Charity-giving has really suffered since the recession. Imagine if every church earned a few thousand pounds each month. The benefits would be felt community and country-wide."