Every five years, your church needs to be inspected, by a qualified Architect or Surveyor. As well as being a legal requirement, this 'quinquennial' inspection will highlight any repairs and discuss the general condition of your church's fabric, and also highlight any ongoing maintenance tasks which should be carried out. We would do this for you, by making a visit to your church to carry out a detailed inspection, and then write a report on our investigation. This would focus on all of your church's fabric, and identify the need and urgency of any repairs that may be required.
GMS are very experienced in this field, having carried our over 400 quinquennial inspections of churches across Lincolnshire and its surrounding counties over the last 30 years.
A quinquennial inspection visit will take up to a full day, dependent on the size of your church. All reasonably accessible areas of your church would be inspected, including roof spaces, roofs and towers. We can offer advice on heating, lighting, drainage and environmental concerns. A church warden will need to accompany us on the day of the inspection, and ensure that all bells are in their down position and all doors are unlocked. The Diocese may offer some financial support towards the cost of your quinquennial inspection. The Churchcare website offers further information on quinquennials here: www.churchcare.co.uk/building
Not only is this a essential part of looking after your church, our quinquennial inspection can also open the door to further works, which can make major improvements at your church.
Heritage Lottery Fund Grants for Places of Worship
If your church has major problems which have been identified in our quinquennial report, such as a leaking or failing roof, or failing buttresses or stonework to its tower, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) may be able to help. HLF offer significant grant funding towards high level church repairs, which we can help your church apply for, obtain, and guide you through the whole process until you see works completed on site. We have worked on many projects of this nature, and there are also other grants available from various sources to help fund work to your church, and we would be happy to advise you about these. Information about the Heritage Lottery Fund Grants for Places of Worship can be found here: www.hlf.org.uk/HowToApply/programmes/Pages/Grants_places_worship
If your church makes a decision to apply for an HLF grant, we can help you embark on the process, from first applying for a grant, to completion of works on site. First of all, in 'Stage Zero', high level urgent works would be identified. Your quinquennial inspection will outline any recommended works. A submission would be put together to present to HLF showing what you would like to do, how much you think it would cost (we will help you with that) and how much money you expect to need towards any proposed works.
If your initial application is accepted by HLF, your project will then continue onto ‘Stage One’. For this, HLF will offer your church a grant to carry out investigations, so we can find out the extent of works that need to be carried out. During this time, the details of the proposed works will be finalised, confirmed and tendered.
We would start with a survey of your church. Then we would meet at your church with consultants required for the job, who would investigate and report, to inform our proposals for the works. These consultants would be specific to your project; you may have a timber or slate consultant if you have problems with your roof, or a stone consultant if your tower is in need of repair. Commonly, a protected species consultant and a drainage specialist would also be involved, as these are aspects of any church repair works that always need to be considered.
Following this, we would provide detailed drawings to show our proposals, and write a specification and item-by-item schedule of works to show the extent of works in need of being done. Once the extent of our proposals have been agreed with HLF, we will also make a submission to the DAC to seek a faculty to carry out the works After this, our comprehensive design package allows us to seek accurate tenders for the works Once we have obtained quotations for the works from several contactors, and subsequently identified the contractor who could provide the most cost-effective solution for the works, we would then submit the Stage One pack to HLF, which is formed by the whole year's investigations into the project. This pack would state exactly how much grant funding your church would need in order for the works to be carried out.
Up to three months after we have submitted the ‘Stage One’ pack, we aim to get confirmation from HLF that a grant will indeed be provided to your church for the works, so they can go ahead. We call this ‘Stage Two’. Once a grant has been confirmed, we will meet the contractor with you, at your church, and discuss the works to make sure everything is in place so a start can be made. Once works are underway, we would make a weekly site visit to check progress, and report back to you on how the project is proceeding. This process would run until the end of the contract, when works to your church reach completion.
Our portfolio shows various projects that have been carried out to churches thanks to grant funding in recent years. Re-tiling to the roofs at All Saints’ in Nocton, stonework repairs to the tower at St Thomas's in Market Rasen, and re-leading to various roof slopes at SS Peter & Paul’s in Cherry Willingham and St Mary's in Stow. We have several projects in Stages Zero, One and Two at present, and would be happy to provide you with updates on the progress of these.
We have experience of all types of church projects, from providing kitchen and WC facilities, to re-ordering, new church halls, so whatever your needs and ideas, however big or small, we would me more than happy to help. If you think your church may need a quinquennial inspection or if you think you meet the criteria that means you may be eligible to receive grant funding, get in touch with us using the details below.