The National Churches Trust Survey
The National Churches Trust Survey, undertaken in 2010, is the largest exercise of its kind. Open to all of the estimated 47,000 churches, chapels and meeting houses in the UK, the survey was unique in seeking to understand not just the physical condition of places of worship but also the way they are managed, funded and used by their communities.
The results establish new and up-to-date facts about the state of the UK’s church buildings:
- That they play a key role in local life as venues for volunteering and community activities – but need support in undertaking repairs and maintenance.
- That in addition to their role as places of worship, church buildings play a vital role in activities for the benefit of the wider community, including supporting children and young people. Analysis suggests nearly 90% of churches are used for purposes other than regular worship.
- That whilst many buildings are well looked after, the survey indicates 8% of churches are in poor or very poor condition.
- The value and importance of local church Friends Groups in widening support for church buildings and bringing in much-need extra funds.
The survey, which was developed with the support of McKinsey and Co, was also groundbreaking by being conducted principally online via a dedicated survey site. Thousands of representatives of church buildings generously gave of their time to respond to the questions asked, and the results will help the Trust better support and promote church buildings for the future.