Building and property resources
- Property register
- Energy conservation
- Better Heating Scheme
- Advice on church lighting
- Sound system consultant
- Church Buildings Maintenance in Scotland
- Fabric and Finance
- General papers
The property register used by congregational Fabric Conveners for annual inspection and return to Presbytery has been substantially amended. The new format is designed to make inspections and returns at the appropriate times significantly easier. The amended register, which should be used for church and hall buildings only, can be completed on-line, saved as a document and e-mailed as an attachment to Presbytery. Alternatively, the register can be printed off and completed by hand. The amended Manse Condition Schedule should be utilised when making annual inspections and returns for manses. Fabric Conveners should read the introductory and guidance notes for both the Property Register and the Manse Condition Schedule before completing the documents.
The Letting it Happen document is a very useful aid to Fabric Conveners covering areas such as buildings and ground maintenance, accessibility issues, upgrading, fire protection and security systems. For more information please contact us.
The Church of Scotland has taken a leading role in the energy conservation field and the General Trustees offer subsidies to encourage congregations to obtain a survey from their heating consultant. The trustees have also negotiated arrangements in consultation with their energy consultant, Argyle Energy, which in many instances have resulted in substantial savings in costs to congregations for gas and electricity supplies. For further information, email Robert Lindores at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
How to reduce your church's carbon footprint
See our resources on climate change for guidance on reducing your carbon footprint and other information.
The Eco-Congregation Programme
This environmental programme offers free resources and support to congregations wishing to incorporate environmental care more widely into their church life and mission. The resources support existing activities such as worship, teaching, children's and youthwork, maintaining buildings and grounds and engaging with the wider community. Visit their website at www.ecocongregation.org/scotland .
Better Heating Scheme
Under the Better Heating Scheme, which is administered by the Church of Scotland General Trustees, congregations can obtain, for a modest fee, skilled advice on how to save money on heating bills and improving the standard of comfort in buildings. You can download these guides for more information on this service, including costs, subsidies and points to note, and heating tips for property conveners.
Advice on church lighting
For advice on lighting, please contact the General Trustees department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sound system consultant
At the moment the General Trustees do not have a consultant and initial contact should be made with local consultants. If the congregation then chooses an installation which is of interest to them, direct contact should be made with the Committee on Church and Architecture to discuss the proposal before installation takes place.
Church Buildings Maintenance in Scotland
The Church Buildings Maintenance in Scotland project is supported by the Church of Scotland, Bishops' Conference of Scotland, the Scottish Episcopal Church and Historic Scotland. Its website provides a range of modules and resources for people involved in maintaining church buildings, including learning modules on types and fabric. It can be found at www.maintainyourchurch.org.uk.
It is essential that all buildings used by congregations such as churches, halls and manses and the like are adequately insured as this is an aspect of good stewardship and is something which all charity trustees would be expected to have in place.
The 2013 General Assembly instructed all Financial Boards and Courts of congregations to insure all ecclesiastical buildings for which they are responsible (irrespective of who owns the buildings) and to take up the covers for public liability, employers’ liability, breach of duty and trustee indemnity and for contents through the Scheme offered by the Church of Scotland Insurance Company Ltd
The Scheme offers a comprehensive package-type cover incorporating a wide range of automatic insurance provisions sufficient to meet the usual ecclesiastical activities of congregations in respect of buildings and liabilities. Also included are covers for church and hall contents, loss of revenue, money, personal accident and other risks. Optional covers such as Engineering are available and the Scheme can allow the standard package limits to be extended upon request.
The Scheme is being introduced throughout 2013 as existing policies fall due for renewal.
The Insurance Company has produced a radically up-dated Summary of Cover which reflects the improvements in cover and makes them easier to read and understand. A copy can be viewed and downloaded here. For further information and for answers to insurance enquiries, please contact: The Church of Scotland Insurance Company Ltd, 67 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 2JG, Telephone: 0131 220 4119, email or visit their website.
Security of churches and halls is a continuing concern for many congregations. Scotland’s Churches Scheme has produced an extremely helpful pamphlet how to secure your church.
Fabric and Finance
Forms are available in Word and PDF format.
- General Form A
General Form A
- Financial Limit Case Form B
Financial Limit Case Form B
- Application to Central Fabric Fund Form C
Application to Central Fabric Fund Form C
- Historic Scotland and/or Lottery Application Case Form E
Historic Scotland and/or Lottery Application Case Form E
- Grant Income & Expenditure Claim Form
Grant Income & Expenditure Claim Form
- Administration of Consolidated Fabric Fund Monies
- Sources of Finance for Repair and Improvement
- Guidelines for the Preparation of Quinquennial Reports
- Guidelines for congregations property Conveners
- What is needed in a manse
- Building a new manse
- Buying and Selling a Manse
- Manses – Caretaker Occupation Conditions
- 2013 Reg 3: Manse Adjudication Committee
Manse Condition Schedule
The manse condition schedule, along with guidelines and regulations for manses, is intended to assist congregations in keeping up to date with the maintenance and repair of manses.
Residential Letting of Manses and Other Domestic Properties
When a manse or other residential property such as a church officer’s house becomes vacant, a Financial Board should consider whether to let it. Properties usually benefit from being occupied and rent can provide a useful revenue stream for the congregation for fabric purposes.
To be valid, residential leases of properties owned by the General Trustees must run in their name as landlords. In view of the administrative burdens associated with the letting of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) the Trustees will not approve lets to more than two unconnected persons.
The following notes are designed to give an overview of the matters which need to be considered.