Now that the Coming Home report has been launched, and we are seeing the early impact of the work undertaken by the Commission, I’ve been thinking about why we got involved in the first place and if we hit the mark with our input.
What grabbed me when we were first approached was really the potential system disruption that was presented. It seems to me that people understand that the church owns land. And that more could and should be done with it. But the situation is actually a lot more complex. The church as a landowner is not one, cohesive body. And changing the use of land is not easy.
So we jumped at the chance to both work alongside a number of churches nationally to help them realise their potential and move them along on their journey to create homes in their communities. Having the opportunity to further impact the housing landscape and share the learning in the Guide we wrote was a honour – though the responsibility of getting it right was heavy too.
Whether or not we hit the mark was answered for me when we took part in a panel discussion online to conclude the Innovative Built Solutions for Churches programme and heard the change in confidence spoken by the leaders that we supported, as well as the engagement by the people that came along and others that have been in touch since.
We take hope from the schemes that have already been developed and look forward to following the continuing journeys of the seven churches that we worked with in 2020. I’m already so proud of them all and have the champagne chilling in the fridge ready for the ribbon-cutting events that will surely follow.