20th Anniversary of the Church Buildings Renewal Trust

To mark 20th anniversary of the founding of the Trust a celebration was held on 16th September 2014 at St George’s Tron Church, Buchanan Street, Glasgow by kind permission of the Minister the Rev. Alistair Duncan.

20th Anniversary of the Church Buildings Renewal Trust

To mark 20th anniversary of the founding of the Trust a celebration was held on 16th September 2014 at St George’s Tron Church, Buchanan Street, Glasgow by kind permission of the Minister the Rev. Alistair Duncan. 

The current Chairman Peter Cross welcomed many of those who have supported the Trust in various ways since its foundation. He had particular pleasure in welcoming Pat Chalmers a founder member and driving force behind the Trust for many years, David Martin the immediate past Chairman and The Most Reverend Mario Conti the Trust’s current Patron. Unfortunately for personal reasons the founding Chairman Sir Islay Campbell was unable to attend.

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The Chairman outlined the structure and activities of the Trust: –

It was established as a non-profit making charitable Trust administered entirely by volunteers

by Glasgow City Council, with the objective of assisting the City to try to find new uses for the many underused or redundant churches within its boundaries by bringing together parties, organisations and individuals with a shared interest in discovering solutions to these many problems. In recent years the Trust’s activities have extended beyond Glasgow.

Unfortunately conditions are the same now as they were 20 years ago indeed they may be worse with falling rolls and income combined with rising costs proving a constantly difficult challenge.

Throughout its 20 years of life the Trust has maintained a strong committee who have endeavoured in various ways to develop its activities.

Although the Trust does not have a strong track record for assisting individual churches many committee members have provided effective support to various congregations from time to time.

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Where the Trust has really succeeded in recent years is in delivering well run and to the point conferences. These have been well attended by wide audiences who have been able to listen to quality speakers and take relevant knowledge away with them to assist in dealing with their own individual problems.

The conferences in themselves meet many of the Trust’s aims.  Latterly the Trust has established an outreach programme, developing its own website to advance education in the field and explore the alternative uses to which relevant buildings may be put.

Most of the papers from recent conferences are posted on the website and a library of case studies is being developed. To avoid the trap of re-inventing the wheel much information is included by links directing the browser to other relevant websites.

The Trust has had many requests for assistance over the years which almost invariably start with a request for funding. Unfortunately the Trust has no money of its own therefore when it comes to grants all the Trust can do is to direct the enquirer to the various grant aiding bodies.

The Trust keeps its running costs to the minimum but recently there has been significant investment in the website.

To fund its activities the Trust relies on: –

    • Grants from the City, the Church of Scotland and the Archdiocese
    •  Income from the conferences
    • The good will of the committee members who give of their time and talents.

The Trust is grateful to all those that support it.

The evening provided an opportunity for the guests and committee members to exchange views on matters of mutual interest in a Church built, at the expense of the City, in 1808 and recently refurbished to provide excellent multipurpose facilities.

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