Is Your Parish Planning a Project?

Do you need support to plan, develop and fund your idea?

As each parish undertakes its mission in its own way, it is great to see that so many are committed to making improvements to our churches, halls, presbyteries and other buildings for which we have responsibility. To ensure that the buildings we have are kept in good order, all parishes are encouraged to have an up to date Quinquennial Report. This document will include clear priorities for all necessary maintenance and improvements, in order to look after and retain our buildings for current and future use.

All of these projects require dedication and resources from parishes, but this doesn’t mean that you have to do it all on your own.

The Curial Office in Birmingham has a number of professional staff who are available to help guide parishes through all types of projects, large and small. If you are considering a project, we encourage you to make contact with them as early as possible in the project planning and development phase; this will ensure you receive as much assistance as possible and no unnecessary expense and delays are caused. These staff are experts in their fields, meaning your parish can really benefit from their knowledge and expertise.

The main contact for the Property team is the Property Manager, Matthew Lazar, who can give clear guidance on how to organise a Quinquennial Report; identify legal constraints on sites; how to progress surveys, tenders and architectural drawings; and the health and safety matters you may need to address. Matthew and his team can provide essential advice and support early in your project to make sure it gets off to a good start.

The Property Team can be contacted via: Pat Flanagan – Property Assistant on 0121 230 6221 or e-mail [email protected]

The Development team led by Steve Baylis, provide clear guidance on opportunities for grant funding towards project costs, from the initial feasibility study to development. In recent times there has been incredible success in obtaining funding for projects to be delivered: from funding to identify how best to use buildings, assistance with specific costs including staffing, grant funding for roof replacements and for improved hall facilities. No scheme should progress without checking on available funds from the outset, and if you’re not sure if you need that new Church Hall, Steve and Laura can support you to apply for funding to undertake a feasibility study that will give you the answers you need. And don’t forget, if you have done any work on your listed Church, we may be able help you with recovering you VAT as well.

The Development team can be contacted on 0121 230 6241 or e-mail [email protected] or [email protected] or call 0121 230 6265

Deacon Paul O’Connor is the Head of Planning and the Executive Secretary of the Historic Churches Committee and Art & Architecture Committee. He can provide initial planning advice for any building project being considered. It is important that Deacon Paul is consulted on such projects to confirm whether Faculty Approval is required for the proposed work; this should be done before you even start having drawings done or spending money on architect fees. This is essential for all works on Listed Buildings and unlisted churches across the Archdiocese.

Deacon Paul can be contacted on: 0121 230 6270 or 07944 803701 or e-mail [email protected]

All projects come at a cost and the final reminder is that projects may be financially viable but there remains the need to have formal approval by the Diocesan Treasurer, Deacon David Palmer for any expenditure over £10,000. Please contact Pat Prestidge on 0121 230 6216 or e-mail [email protected] for a copy of the simple form.