Understanding Your Church
sponsored by ecclesiastical
Supporting over 16,000 cathedral and church buildings of The Church of England
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  • 16,000 buildings. One resource.
  • 16,000 buildings. One resource.
  • 16,000 buildings. One resource.
  • 16,000 buildings. One resource.
  • 16,000 buildings. One resource.
  • 16,000 buildings. One resource.
  • 16,000 buildings. One resource.
  • 16,000 buildings. One resource.

About ChurchCare

The first step before considering plans for alteration or development is to think carefully about what is important about your church building. By looking at which parts of the building are of the greatest architectural, historical, artistic and archaeological significance you can start to see what impact changes on these elements may have.

Having this knowledge about your building allows you to then think in an informed way about any proposed alterations, developments or changes you might want to make. This research can lead on to the preparation of a Statement of Significance which is required for faculty and grant applications and is really best done at the beginning of the process rather than half way along or as an afterthought. Full guidance on how to research your building and prepare a Statement of Significance is provided here.

You may want to know more about your church building without any intention of making changes. Updating or writing a church guidebook is an excellent way of introducing visitors to the special aspects of your building. Think about different ways of presenting the information you find and consider different audiences such as local school children.

If you are just starting out in researching your building then click the links to see the following sources:

  • If your church is listed, the listing description will give you some basic information, like the name of the architect and the date of construction. You can obtain the description from your local authority's planning department or search for it on The National Heritage List for England.
  • Another standard source of information is the relevant volume of the Building of England books (often called "Pevsners" after the founding editor of the series) which list and describe the most significant buildings in every part of the country, suitable for both general reader and specialist.
  • The Victoria County History books are invaluable for English local history. Further information can be found in your local library, museum or county record office.
  • Church Plans Online, the digital archive of the Incorporated Church Building Society, contains plans dating from 1818-1982 for many churches in England and Wales. Older plans of your church can help you reconstruct what it previously looked like and what changes have been made over time.
  • The Church Recorders of the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies (NADFAS) are researching churches and recording their architecture and contents. Their findings are recorded and a copy is presented to the church. So far 1,300 churches have been recorded and there may already be a record for your church.
  • The National Monuments Record is the public archive of English Heritage. It holds historic photographs, architectural and archaeological reports, plans and other items related to the historic environment of England.

Twitter Updates


Palace of Westminster from just outside Lambeth Palace this afternoon. Prayers with all those affected by the attac… https://t.co/GdG9YPFHcO

Latest Churchcare News


    Two vacancies have become available for roles working with church buildings in the Diocese of Leeds. The first role is for a DAC Secretary, who will work to administer
    Read More

    We are looking for an Office Manager to come and support the busy and friendly team working in our London office. You will take responsibility
    Read More

    Be part of our innovative Bats in Churches partnership project and help engage new and existing audiences. This exciting role will work closely with church communities,
    Read More

    Help churches save money and switch to green energy. Shrinking the Footprint has partnered with Tearfund and Christian Aid to create this exciting new role
    Read More
  • Cathedral Archaeologist

    Ripon Cathedral invites applications for the post of Cathedral Archaeologist. Applicants should be a graduate, or hold a post-graduate qualification, in archaeology or related discipline
    Read More
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Upcoming Events


31 March 2017 (Berkeley, Gloucestershire)


9 March 2017 (York), 10 June 2017, 11-12 October 2017


30 June 2017 (Lincoln)


Tuesday 29 – Thursday 31 August 2017 (Cambridge)


Tuesday 19 – Thursday 21 September 2017 (Portsmouth)