Sustainability Rosette

By clicking each petal, you will be able to identify and prioritise areas of need and create an action plan to help you realise your vision.

Growth »

Strong Partnerships »

People »

Finances »

Maintenance & Repair »

Community Involvement »

Facilities & range of uses »

Security & Risk Management »

Welcome & Visitors »

Energy Efficiency »



In order for churches to be sustainable they need sufficient resources; in terms of people (time and skills) and finances (funds) and how they may change over time.

People are vital for the mission, management and maintenance of our churches. The right capability (skills) and capacity (time) are required to carry out routine maintenance, raise funds and engage others.

Carlisle Diocese
Cumbria Voluntary Service
Do-it - Advertise volunteering opportunities
Parish Resources - Church of England’s resources team
Quakers in Britain
Roman Catholic Diocese of Lancaster
The Methodist Church
The Salvation Army
United Reformed Church

Future viability depends on finances. A good understanding of income and expenditure is essential for running your building, including budgeting for future repairs, and how to raise funds for future projects. See denominational or Cumbrian websites for Stewardship and Giving information

ACAT - Treasurers of Christian churches
Parish Resources - Church of England’s resources team
Catholic Church Market Place
Methodist Church and 2buy2
Parish Buying - CofE & The Church in Wales
Cumbria CVS - Training and advice on funding
Better Fundraising Ideas - Ideas for fundraising events
National Churches Trust - Funding
National Lottery Heritage Fund - Funding
The Heritage Funding Directory - Funding
Parish resources list for grants - Funding


Many churches are historic buildings, we have a duty of care to pass them on in good order for future generations. This requires the care and conservation of church buildings and their environment.

Regular maintenance and timely repairs can help to prevent problems from becoming bigger and more expensive - the stitch in time principle.

Building Conservation - Conservation, restoration and repair
Churches Trust for Cumbria’s Maintenance Checklist
Historic England - Advice to help you in caring for heritage
Maintenance Booker - Advice to help you in caring for heritage
SPAB’s Faith in Maintenance (FiM) Calendar - Monthly tasks.
The Churches Conservation Trust, Church Cleaning Guidelines - Church of England recommendations

As part of its holistic mission the Church is committed to reducing its carbon footprint. It makes environmental and financial sense to become more energy efficient.

Carbon Reduction Opportunities - Useful links for all denominations
Caring for God’s Acre - Caring and preserving burial grounds.
Cumbria Action for Sustainbility (CAfS)
Eco Church - Resources to gain ‘Eco Church’ Award
Shrinking the Footprint - CofE’s environmental campaign
A practical path to “net zero carbon” for our churches

Open to all

An open and welcoming building strengthens the role of the church in the community, encourages visitors, tourists and gives an opportunity for mission.

People visit churches for a variety of reasons; by being open and welcoming you can share your story whatever their reason to cross the threshold.

Cumbria Trust for Churches - email us to share ideas
Arthur Rank Centre’s Accessible Welcome
Church of Englands Accessibility Guidance
Churches Visitor & Tourism Association - Check their resources and news page
Explore Churches - Promote your church
Divine Inspiration Toolkit - Interpreting and sharing your church
Open Welcome - Onterpreting and sharing your church story
Heritage Open Day - Become part of this national event.
Inspired North East – Various information
Methodist Heritage - Interpreting and promoting history
A Way to Welcome - Guide on visitor welcome

Keeping church buildings secure and people safe is a balance between accessibility and security and to ensure that church buildings and those who use them are safe. We need to identify, evaluate and take steps to minimise any potential risks.

Ecclesiastical - Fire, health and safety, security and weather issues. Also search their ‘Document Library’
Historic England - Various guidance
Parish Resources - Church of England’s resources team
Catholic Church - safeguarding
Church of England - safeguarding
Methodist Church - safeguarding
United Reformed Church - safeguarding


Understanding congregational needs and those of the local and wider community can help to maximise the potential of church buildings and encourage a sustainable future.

Having a warm, welcoming environment with facilities can help to unlock the potential of church buildings and attract additional uses.

Crossing the Threshold - Step-by-step guide
Sharing your Church Building
Champing - Camping in churches
Churches Conservation Trust’s Regeneration Consultancy Service - Free planning toolkit
Making Changes to Places of Worship - Things to consider
Permissions, Faculty, Licences and Law

Church buildings are there to serve all, the better they do this, the better they will be supported and maintained. Check your denominational website and look at others to see what they are doing.

Germinate: The Arthur Rank Centre
Action with Communities in Cumbria (ACT)
Crossing the Threshold - A guide to managing a church building project


A common factor underpinning vibrant church communities and well used buildings is working together with a common vision. Having a clear vision is essential for a sustainable and viable church.

As an ecumenical county with a strategy for growth, joining together with friends and partners building relationships and pooling resources can help growth

Church of England
Methodist Church
Salvation Army
United Reformed Church
Catholic Church
Is Your Church a Millstone or a Springboard?
Guide to the Care, Conservation & Development
Germinate: The Arthur Rank Centre

To become an effective and efficient team requires a common purpose, good leadership and team communication.

God for all
Churches Together in Cumbria
Church Growth Research (view case studies)
Developing a Growth Strategy
Germinate: The Arthur Rank Centre

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