First Conference Held For New Church Buildings Support Officers
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Posted on: 2nd July 2024

Our new Church Buildings Support Officer Alena-Rose Douglas has reported back from a conference at Peterborough Cathedral for people in her role who are now helping churches across the country.

27 Church Buildings Support Officers (CBSOs) have been appointed by dioceses out of grants from the Church of England’s £11 million Buildings for Mission project.

A total of £3.2 million was awarded last year for CBSOs in 33 dioceses, and three partner organisations, providing parishes with advice on the management, conservation, repair and development of church buildings, including community use alongside worship.

The post holders are also helping oversee £6.2 million of grants from the fund across 41 dioceses for repairs to churches focused on small-scale but urgent works and ‘stitch in time’ projects that could save larger sums in the long term.

Alena-Rose has already visited 29 churches in the diocese over the six months since her appointment, providing expertise and advice in areas ranging from starting long term church re-ordering projects, to help with application forms to grants panels.

“Leeds Diocese is massive – my work can include going from a city centre church in Leeds to a tiny medieval chapel in the Dales in a space of a couple of days, it is great,” she said.

“It was great to meet with the other Church Buildings Support Officers in person and see how every Diocese is working to support parishes; every one of us has a slightly different job description based on the local context in our dioceses.

“In ours, the role is focused on providing bespoke, tailored, ongoing support for selected parish churches, following the priorities of our Barnabas: Encouraging Confidence initiative.”

David Knight, Head of Church Buildings for the Church of England, said: “All these newly appointed Church Buildings Officers are in post as a direct result of the Buildings for Mission fund announced last autumn.

“It has been wonderful to see their enthusiasm and hear of the great work and practical support that is already being provided to help our parishes remain sustainable into the future.”

You may find out more about Barnabas: Encouraging Confidence here.

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authorNetwork Leeds

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