New toolkit to help faith buildings connect with communities

Hereford Cathedral.

A new toolkit originally developed in the Diocese of Hereford has been reworked to help faith groups more generally make their buildings available for community use.

Crossing the Threshold has been updated to include new information and case studies from projects beyond the diocese.

The kit is aimed at anyone with an interest in church building development, including PCCs, Diocesan Advisory Committees and buildings officers.

Wendy Coombey, the Community Partnership and Funding Officer for the Diocese of Hereford, led the original project.

She said: "It's been funded by English Heritage to use as a national toolkit, not just for use in Hereford Diocese and by Anglicans, but by faith buildings right across the country."

She continued: "It's very exciting because the toolkit will support the ongoing work of developing church buildings, updated with all the best practice and guidance, making sure that as many churches and faith communities as possible continue to connect with their local communities and use their buildings as a resource for mission."

Crossing the Threshold is being launched at St John's Church in the Square, Wolverhampton on October 17.

Attending the launch are Becky Payne, Development Officer for the Historic Religious Buildings Alliance, the Bishop of Ludlow, and Diana Evans, Head of Places of Worship Advice at English Heritage.

In the foreword to the new publication, Evans writes: "Over the past 10 years the Diocese of Hereford has established a recognised track record in developing and delivering sustainable community projects in church buildings.

"All that learning and good practice has been gathered together in a new and up to date toolkit to provide a step by step guide to developing a capital project, based on sound community development practice and stressing the importance of partnership working involving local people."