We would like to encourage further debate as to how we honour the original intent of those who built and funded the construction of buildings we now find, for a wide variety of reasons are now not needed to accommodate a local Church. These buildings, their sites or the invested funds, are a valuable resource to Synods and also represent a possible wider, if less financially advantageous potential.
Re-investing sale proceeds into other building projects has been a beneficial way of maintaining our investment in property. There is a growing concern when the pressure to use these funds to support revenue activities will in the longer-term move too much capital away from investment in suitable buildings and projects.
There is a desire where possible to at least consider the use these buildings or funds for kingdom projects, which can include investments in people working in areas that provide real benefit to our communities. The beneficial re-use of buildings has seen an ongoing variety of valuable resources being made available by the Church, and example of these projects will appear on this site and others,
The URC Trust has set up a small working group as part of the Building Forum to look at ways in which we can encourage and facilitate the use of buildings and land for social housing projects shaped to respond to local needs. More information will be provided in due course and through these pages the Forum is seeking suitable opportunities for projects which will help to develop our understanding. We are working with the charity Housing Justice and their ‘Faith in affordable housing’ project who is already working with some URC Synods.
An introduction to their work can be found at www.housingjustice.org.uk