Under the terms of the Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011, when partial or total closure of a consecrated church as a place of regular worship is being considered as an option, the Diocesan Mission and Pastoral Committee must notify the Church Buildings Council.
They will prepare a report (formerly known as a Pastoral Measure report) which is used to help inform discussion regarding the future of the building.
The Council recommends that the Church Buildings report should be compiled early in the process, even before a formal petition for closure has been made.
The report covers:
- the historic and architectural quality and interest of the church as well as others in the area,
- the historic and aesthetic qualities of the church and its contents,
- special features of any associated churchyards or burial grounds,
- appropriate information or advice concerning possible architectural or structural changes to facilitate additional and/or alternative uses should the church continue in use for worship.
To request a report from the Council the Diocese must complete a request form (often referred to as form PM1B). Click here to download a PDF copy or here for a word version. This should be returned by email or post, with supporting documentation to:
The Council also encourages the production of Survey Reports. These might be produced for churches which have requested help to consider the future of their building as well as for groups, or areas, of churches where emerging problems have been identified.
Similar to the Church Building reports in content and format, these documents present an early opportunity to consider the potential of a particular church and to explore alternatives in addition to worship use. They are confidential documents.
On approving either a Church Building Report or a Survey report, the Church Buildings Council will additionally recommend a level of further involvement and may refer to legal options for complementary use.
The four levels are as follows:
- Level 1: Report and letter with recommendations.
- Level 2: Report and letter, follow up with advice (e.g. on grant aid).
- Level 3: One or more follow up visits and advice, help with Church Development Plan.
- Level 4: Intensive support with, as appropriate, advice on complementary use, funding, setting up Trusts, Conservation Management Plans and Church Development Plans, Environmental Audits.
Copies of the approved Pastoral Measure reports (not the Survey reports) are circulated to the Diocesan Mission and Pastoral Committee, the Diocesan Board of Finance and the Church Commissioners.
Access to archived Pastoral Measure and recent Church Building Reports