Diocese of Portsmouth

    Officer to give advice on island church buildings

    16 Nov. 2023

    AN advisor is set to be appointed to the Isle of Wight to help parishes care for their church buildings.

    A new community and fabric officer living on the island will give guidance to parishes on how to look after their church buildings and help them to open the doors so more community groups can use them.

    Our diocese successfully bid to the national Church for funding for a half-time position to support churches on the Isle of Wight.

    The new person will provide specialised advice on the management, conservation, repair, and development of island church buildings. This includes helping the churches enhance their role as a community space, aiming to alleviate the burden on hardworking PCCs and ensuring that churches are in good physical condition, keeping their doors open and promoting sustainability.

    The role aligns with our net zero carbon goals, as having the post based on the island eliminates the need for diocesan staff to travel across the Solent to support building projects. The officer will actively work towards implementing net zero carbon commitments in each project, contributing to the diocese's overall sustainability.

    The recruitment for this new role will begin early in the New Year. This person will join the current Buildings Officers in their work but with a specific geographical remit

    This is all thanks to the Church of England's £2.8m funding for church building officers across dioceses. This is funded by the Church Commissioners.

    Emily Gee, the director for cathedrals and church buildings for the Church of England, said, “Churches are wonderfully supported, year in year out, by volunteers who give their time and financial support so generously. This funding will help foster robust and flourishing congregations and release resources, energy, and potential for mission and outreach.”

    This initiative not only brings a positive change to the Isle of Wight but also stands as a testament to the Church of England’s commitment to nurturing and sustaining its cherished places of worship, ensuring they continue to serve as vibrant centres for worship and community service.

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