This page is to help Friends involved in property matters in their meetings.

Please note that we do not endorse any specific commercial suppliers. Links to commercial sites are purely for free resources listed there.

Where to get help

    Resource

    Property advice sheets

    These advice sheets provide general information only. Regulations change over time so treat the sheets as guidance only – they should be used with appropriate professional advice.

    Meeting house handbook template

    You can use this template to make a handbook for your local meeting. Simply edit and add your own instructions, records and information. By keeping everything in one place you can make life easier for those who help look after meeting houses, especially those new to the task. If you would like help with using the document please email Huw Davies huwd@quaker.org.uk. Huw is the BYM Property Support Project Manager.

    Download the template for a meeting house handbook (Word).

    Property advice e-group

    This group operates to support Friends involved in looking after meeting houses and other property held by Friends. It is open to anyone to join. You don't need to be an expert to be a member. Some members have specialist knowledge of property management. Other members are, for instance, local Friends who sit on meeting house premises committees.

    Group members can ask questions, seek assistance and guidance from the group by email. Any question or request for information, and the response, is sent automatically to all group members – encouraging ideas and knowledge sharing.

    Topics discussed include:

    • redundancy, demolition,
    • sale, lease, purchase,
    • alteration, extensions, historic buildings and
    • repair and maintenance of existing buildings and new buildings.

    Advice offered by group members is informal. The ultimate decision on any matter will rest with the local Friends concerned.

    To join the property advice e-group, visit the property advice e-group online subscription webpage.

    Meeting House Funds

    The Meeting House Funds provide financial assistance to meetings for:

    • carrying out improvements to their meeting houses, including warden's accommodation
    • acquiring and developing new premises
    • supporting substantial repairs to historic meeting houses

    More information can be found on the grant making pages.

    Sawell Family Fund for meeting house development work

    This fund provides grants to:

    • develop and enhance meeting houses
    • promote the benefit of Quaker buildings to communities.

    Small grants can be used during a project's development phase to fund

    • obtaining information including surveys, feasibility studies, designs, planning applications for improvements, or when considering the purchase of a meeting house
    • advice on community engagement
    • advice on contracting with management companies for lettings and/or maintenance.

    More information can be found on the grant making pages.

    Other sources of funding for meeting house works

    There are many other sources of funding available to help with works to meeting houses (Word).

    The Listed Places of Worship (LPW) Grant Scheme (offsite link) essentially refunds the VAT paid for work on listed places of worship. This includes Quaker meeting houses.

    Sustainability and buildings

    Meeting houses come in all shapes and sizes. Some are only used on Sunday mornings and some are used every day. Many are quite old and some are listed. All of these things (and more) will influence what you can do to improve the sustainability of your meeting house.

    The starting point is to see how you could reduce your energy use before considering more complex work such as solar panels. There are some simple steps you can consider yo make your building more sustainable (Word).

    There is a lot of information available about improving a building's sustainability or 'retrofitting' as it is sometimes known. It is worth forming a small group at your meeting and learning a little about the subject to get a basic understanding. Some useful links are listed below.

    Consider having an energy survey of the building done. This should give you options for making changes and their likely cost and impact. That will allow the meeting to choose what it feels is right for them. Here is a template remit for an energy survey of a meeting house (Word).

    More general information about Quaker activity and sustainability can be found in the Sustainability section of this web site.

    Quaker Meeting House Heritage Project

    This project is a national survey of Quaker meeting houses commissioned by Quakers in Britain and Historic England. Reports for individual meeting house and a national overview can be found on the Heritage Project website.

    Links to external organisations

    1. ChurchCare website
    2. Churches Conservation Trust website
    3. National Churches Trust website
    4. Safer Places of Worship website
    5. Ecclesiastical Insurance offers some useful free advice sheets on their website.

    Contact us

    Helen Griffith
    Supporting Quaker Stewardship Committee
    heleng@quaker.org.uk
    020 7663 1161