One of the key features of People & Places is to provide FREE Parish Support Services in our newly formed Deaneries within the following areas:
- Parish Human Resources (HR) Advisory Service
- Parish Church Buildings Service
- The Parish Bookkeeping Service
- Pathways - lifelong discipleship; flexible learning; flourishing teams
- Transforming Church Action Planning
Click the links above for more detail about each area or simply read on.
We want to free our parishes from the administrative and legislative burdens that employing staff can bring. More than half of our parishes currently employ staff and we know that it’s difficult to keep up with legislative changes and the ever-increasing complexities of being an employer. People & Places is aiming to grow the Church across Birmingham and, as a result, we expect that parishes will employ more staff in the future. We do not want the fear of the administrative burden to be a hindrance to that growth.
We can now offer an HR service to answer your employment-related queries using our expertise of the parish context. In addition, we can help PCCs with recruitment advertising, application forms, interview guidelines, recruitment processing, contracts of employment, policies, procedures, handbooks and letters relating to employment matters.
In the near future, we are planning to run regular drop-in surgeries and workshops to handle HR-related queries and concerns in a similar way as we did with our Safeguarding Team, delivering increased confidence and subject knowledge in a relevant and accessible way.
Contact Laura Cohen for any HR queries:
Contact: Laura Cohen (HR Resources Adviser)
Ensuring that church buildings remain well maintained and compliant puts a significant strain on local resources. Even day-to-day reactive maintenance issues take hours of people’s time and require specific technical expertise. Having a central resource that instructs and oversees contractors can help relieve this burden. The church buildings in the diocese of Birmingham were assessed in both 2012 and 2017 through a desk-based survey of their five-yearly building inspection reports. During this period, the number of buildings in a ‘Poor’ or ‘Very Bad’ state had increased to 30%. People & Places aims to support parishes with the fabric management processes for their churches, to ensure that annual planned preventative maintenance for each building is carried out regularly and for the long term to reduce the increasing cost liability.
Our Parish Buildings Services can help with organising church property reactive repairs and maintenance on behalf of PCCs, which will involve managing a wide range of suppliers and building contractors. We can also assist with implementing various programmes of planned, cyclical and legislative maintenance for churches based upon their five-yearly inspection report. Our surveyors will also help with Condition surveys of ancillary building and relevant statutory compliance responsibilities for all operational buildings.
What we will do
- Oversee reactive maintenance and planned preventative maintenance (PPM) on behalf of PCCs
- Support PCCs with their PPM plans and, where necessary, carry out further condition surveys.
- Advise PCCs on regulatory, statutory compliance and construction-related health and safety
- Project manage works on site, act as contract administrator and main point of contact with contractor(s). Establish clear lines of communication.
- Guide PCCs with faculty submissions and advise on any further statutory compliance.
What we can't do
- Parish Building Surveyors will not act as the client (PCC) and so will not pay for the works/be budget holder. Any maintenance or compliance work will need PCC approval before appointing a contractor.
- Perform duties as Principal Designer under the Construction Design & Management Regulations (CDM 2015)
- Deal with electrical and plumbing issues which can be dealt with by a local tradesperson. If the issue keeps reoccurring or it has adversely affected the building fabric, the surveyors can advise.
- The surveyors do not take away the need for Quinquennial Inspections (5 yearly) carried out by others.
- Will not attend PCC meetings to obtain approval for the works; this is the responsibility of the incumbents/churchwardens.
Contact Andy Schofield (Parish Buildings Surveyor) to access the parish church buildings services.
Is your PCC struggling to answer the following questions?
- How much money does it have coming in?
- How much money is going out?
- How much money is left over?
- Is the money being spent on the things that people gave us the money for?
- How can we get up-to-date information to help us make a decision?
We often hear from PCCs that they are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit skilled volunteers, especially treasurers. Most volunteers are not accountants and worry that they don’t have the technical skills to serve in this role.
Under the Church Representation Rules (Part 9 M20(3)), each PCC should arrange for the office of treasurer to be discharged whether by one of its members, a churchwarden or some other fit person. The PCC as charity trustees must ensure that:
- It is able to meet all of its financial responsibilities and that PCC funds and assets are used appropriately.
- It is able to report on what the PCC has achieved, and how it has used its money and resources.
- It is able to manage the PCC’s money, and balance risk and reserves.
The Parish Bookkeeping Service is designed to help PCCs gain a good grasp of their finances to enable them to make wise kingdom decisions and to ensure that they are able to meet their obligations as charity trustees
Key Objectives of the Parish Bookkeeping Service
To support PCCs:
- Understand the money they have available to support parish mission and ministry
- Discharge their statutory responsibilities as charity trustees
- Gain timely and up-to-date financial information to aid decision-making.
- Providing information that is in an accessible format for all.
If you would like more information about this service, please contact:
Contact: Lucy Pinnock
Phone: 0121 426 0414
Pathways is an initiative to support leadership development and learning for lay and clergy and includes the next stage in our provision of coaching and mentoring. Pathways is aligned with the six Deaneries within the People & Places framework and is funded by the Church Commissioners.
Through the Pathways approach to flexible learning, we are seeking to provide opportunity for every Christian and church community in Church of England Birmingham family to grow in their capacity to live out the Good News of Jesus, equip them for serving Him and be servant leaders in every sphere of life.
Guided by local parishes across the six Deaneries, Pathways will present fresh ways of learning for those who want to engage and grow as disciples and open new paths to fruitful lay and ordained leadership and ministry. With coaching for those in new leadership ministry roles and mentoring for all those on a learning journey, every Christian community will have a trained and supported pastoral minister and a well-equipped, flourishing team.
Transforming Church Action Planning is a vital part of our People & Places journey together. Forming a TCAP takes parishes through a journey of reflection, stopping along the way to consider who they are, who their community thinks they are and where God is calling for particular attention over the coming months.
This sense of core identity is particularly helpful at the moment as it gives an anchor for parish ministry focus even as regulations change and opportunities for ministry develop. Understanding and being confident in our parish core identity can help us make wise decisions about the next days, weeks and months.