From clearing gutters to tree surveys, a new website aims to make it easier to keep churches in good condition.
Any church in Wales can use MaintenanceBooker to obtain quality building services from accredited and experienced contractors for a wide variety of essential maintenance tasks.
MaintenanceBooker is a partnership between the National Churches Trust, the UKâ€™s church buildings support charity, and 2buy2, a leading procurement company. It is based in Bridgend.
Using a dedicated website www.maintenancebooker.org.uk services available include gutter clearance and repairs, lightning protection inspection, tree surveys and maintenance as well as asbestos surveys and removal. More services will be added in later in the year, such as stonework and lime mortaring with bat surveys, and grounds and graveyard maintenance in the pipeline.
For many churches the cost of maintenance can be a major barrier. The good news is that Preventive Maintenance Micro-Grants are available to help pay for the cost of gutter clearance for users of MaintenanceBooker.
Alex Glanville, Head of Property Services for the Church in Wales, says, â€œWe are delighted to have been able to support MaintenanceBooker to provide new help for local congregations charged with caring for our 1,300 places of worship.â€�
â€œMaintenanceBooker is designed to help those responsible for the maintenance of churches and chapels to maintain their churches,â€� says Michael Plane, Diocesan Churches Inspector, for the Diocese of St Asaph. â€œHaving listened to many voices expressing concerns about the difficulties of sourcing appropriate contractors to undertake routine work, we are excited to be able to support the new MaintenanceBooker service. Iâ€™m looking forward to seeing it in action.â€�
â€œTackling essential maintenance tasks sooner rather than later is an investment in your church as a place of worship and can help ensure that its heritage is safeguarded for future generations,â€� says Michael Murray, Head of Church Support for the National Churches Trust. â€œNeglecting simple maintenance tasks often results in significant higher repair bills. Using MaintenanceBooker will help avoid this. I hope our new website will make leaking church roofs a thing of the past.â€�
Rob Kissick, 2buy2â€™s Chief Executive Officer says, â€œEvery company registered on MaintenanceBooker is vetted to ensure it has the appropriate qualifications; critical for all church repairs. MaintenanceBooker will save money and ensure that work is carried out by qualified individuals.â€�
Michael Angell, church operations director for Ecclesiastical adds, â€œWe are very pleased to be able to sponsor this service, which will help make sure that those maintaining some of our most irreplaceable buildings have the right experience and skills to do so. Without proper maintenance churches may face more serious repair problems and in some cases, this could lead to temporary closures.
â€œChurches are community buildings, used by many different organisations and groups, so the closure of these buildings, for even just a few weeks, can have devastating consequences for the wider community.â€�
MaintenanceBooker is being rolled out across England and Wales this year with the support of Ecclesiastical Insurance, the UKâ€™s leading church insurer and by the Pilgrim Trust and the Church in Wales.
A video about MaintenanceBooker is available at https://vimeo.com/26989567
The National Churches Trust
The National Churches Trust is the UK charity concerned with the protection and welfare of churches, chapels and meeting houses throughout the United Kingdom. It provides grants for the repair, maintenance and modernisation of church buildings; acts as a catalyst to improve and bring more resources to the management of church buildings and promotes the value of church buildings to the community at large
For more information visit www.nationalchurchestrust.org
2buy2 was founded in 2008 by chief executive Rob Kissick. It expanded and relocated to Wales in June 2012; as its growth continued, it moved to the Sony Technology Centre in Bridgend in 2013.
The company helps organisations of all sizes and in all sectors save money on their day-to-day costs. The business also saves them time by providing a professional procurement service to vet suppliers, manage contracts and get the best deals.
While it is a private sector, commercial company, 2buy2 also has a philosophy of making sustainable but never excessive profits. It also gives 10 per cent of its net profits to charities chosen by its staff every year.