Many congregations are property rich and cash poor. They face dwindling attendance, shrinking cash reserves and spiraling expenses.Over the next 10 years, 30% of congregations will need to take a critical look at their property use.
These challenges are emotionally draining for congregations and put great pressure on church leaders to make the right decision when they often lack information and experience in church real estate planning.
Many congregations are afraid that the only property option they have is to close and sell their church. This is not the case.
Some congregations have redeveloped or subdivided their property to include assisted housing, to become a hub facility for community service groups or to partner with local arts, dance or music groups, all to better serve God’s people. These projects have led to greater involvement in the community, as well as moving towards greater financial security.
The United Church of Canada’s EDGE group is developing a real estate planning process which will work with Conferences, Presbyteries and congregations to provide unbiased property information.
This process will:
- Give congregations what they need when considering sale or redevelopment to ensure all options are considered and the best value is achieved.
- Protect the interests of the congregation from powerful and highly motivated real-estate or property development groups which may not have the church’s interests first and foremost.
- Provide tools to address the emotional issues and undercurrents which arise when dealing with church building development.
- Ensure that the congregation’s vision and mission is integral to the process.
- Provide these services in a cost effective way for the congregation by accessing government grants and developing strong and effective service partnerships.
EDGE is here to help you make informed property decisions, so your congregation can be energized by its mission.
Please call us if:
- You feel burdened by the cost of maintaining your property
- You feel your church property may have unrealized value
- You want to develop a real estate plan for the future, OR
- Even if you are about to or have already decided to sell – there is still time to look at other options or to reassess your selling price.
Contact Kris Tavella for more information.
Additional Resources from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
1. Housing for Older Canadians