Studio B Architects

There is often a strong sense that this is “the too-hard basket”, and inertia prevails. This can be
reinforced by discord among members where people understandably want to hold on to that
which has become familiar, particularly around spiritual experiences. But we need to see the core
business of the church that we are called to by Christ. It was uncomfortable in the first century
and it is sometimes uncomfortable for us now.
20th-century buildings and present-day churches may also need to refocus on serving their core
mission calling.
The Solution
Start with the principles of the Church’s mission. This can be introduced and led by the church
leaders. The ways in which a property can impact upon this is covered in “Making Property Serve
Mission – Rethinking the Churches Buildings for the 21st-Century” by Fred Batterton.
The Missional Identity (MiD) process offered by Studio B Architects provides a two-stage
questionnaire. The first stage is completed by the whole membership and asks people to prioritise
each potential mission calling for the future. A focused shortlist results. The second stage
considers each part of the present buildings and asks the leaders to comment on the usefulness
of each in serving the agreed future mission.

This brings everyones focus to mission and buildings then how buildings can support this work. Or those who have
used this tool, it has created a remarkable insight and degree of unity amongst members to move forward. It allows
leaders to work with the architects to create a brief for change that will be effective for the church’s priorities.

This brings everyones focus to mission and buildings then how buildings can support this work. Or those who have
used this tool, it has created a remarkable insight and degree of unity amongst members to move forward. It allows
leaders to work with the architects to create a brief for change that will be effective for the church’s priorities.

The Masterplan
A basic design exercise can then proceed to see how the existing buildings can be carefully and
effectively changed. Ideas are developed and workshopped to together with the church leaders.
Once this has reached a point of agreement, the proposals can be costed and staged. If the
church has property that is no longer required for mission, compatible uses can be considered
and value realised to assist with funding the church’s building works.

The final proposals are presented on screen by the architect and church leaders, clearly indicating
how the new facilities will support the church’s own mission shortlist: its MiD.

The Way Ahead
There are a range of ways in which the costs of the works can be covered and most projects
require a combination of these. The church may have some reserve funds. It may have
developable land , the value of which can be realised. It may organise a fundraising campaign
incorporating both one-off and pledged giving over time. It may have a benefactor able to make a
substantial commitment. It may be able to obtain a grant. It is likely to need to be able to borrow
some funds for a time.
Once the cost of the work has been identified and the means of covering the cost determined, the
project, or at least Stage I can proceed to full design, permits and construction under the
leadership of the architect.
The Outcome
It is possible for heritage buildings to be sensitively upgraded to become a beautiful venue for a
wide range of mission and public activities. The Christian Church has perhaps the finest heritage
buildings in the world. All buildings can be improved through the MiD process which provides a
clear foundation.
Not only do our buildings become more welcoming and hospitable, but we bless the wider world
as we invite them in and allow them to share their use. In doing so we are being sustainably
responsible members of society, and we are sharing our facilities with our neighbours.
Fred Batterton, Studio B Architects


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