Regular maintenance is necessary to keep church buildings in good repair and to stave off major repairs for as long as possible. Key to this is keeping the building dry and getting moisture away from the church. If you are not sure where to start, speak with Matt and see the further resources below.
These inspections must be carried out every five years by the appointed church architect or surveyor. The report that comes from the inspection gives an overview of what repairs need to take place and their prioritisation.
The current Scheme for the inspection of churches in the Diocese of Lincoln can be found here:
If you are not sure when your next Quinquennial Inspection is due or are looking to appoint a new architect, please contact the team. It is the Parochial Church Council’s (PCC’s) responsibility to ensure that the inspection takes place.
For some larger projects that require grant aid, the grant funder may require you to show that you have procured your architect / surveyor in an open and transparent manner in accordance with procurement rules. For further information, see this advice note https://www.churchofengland.org/resources/churchcare/procurement and ask Matt or Fran.
Regular and ‘stitch in time’ maintenance
It is important to have a maintenance plan and to look at the church regularly to spot any minor repairs that need to be fixed. Particularly look at the outside of the church when it is raining. Are the gutters overflowing? Is water flowing out of the bottom of the gutters or is it spouting over the top? When the water reaches the ground, is it able to flow away? Arrange for regular clearing of the gutters and downpipes. Also look at the roof. Are any slates or tiles loose or missing? Is the flashing (lead strip between roofs) in place?
A key to a healthy building is air flow. This helps to prevent damp and rot setting in. Make sure that window vents can open. In spring and summer, keep the windows and doors open as much as possible. Look at the pew platforms and check that there are ventilation holes and that these are not blocked. If there are air bricks or ventilation grilles on the outside of the building, make sure that they are kept clear and open. If possible, do not have carpet. This allows moisture to escape through the floor.
Does your lightning conductor work? When was it last inspected? Is it complete or has it been damaged.
Major sort out
The time will come when major repairs are required, however well cared for the building has been. This will require careful project planning and may require the church building to be closed temporarily for the works to take place. Please talk to the team early in the process, to ensure you raise enough funds to cover the works and get the most out of the building having scaffolding cover.
The following resources give further information about maintenance.