4.7 Asset Management Plans
An Asset Management Plan (AMP) is a proactive management tool that allows for the care of the building(s) in the context of the broader priorities of the church; it is relevant for any building in community ownership, but particularly for historic buildings, where the implications of not planning for maintenance can be hugely destructive.
A key aspect of the AMP is the development of a process to ensure that the management of the building is planned, budgeted and actioned. The AMP enables the church community to:
- evaluate the sustainability of their church building(s)
- make financial plans and budget for work to the fabric
- have buildings that serve the Church’s vision for mission and ministry.
The AMP therefore helps the local church community to ensure that the existing built assets and any capital funding is used as effectively and efficiently as possible in promoting the Church’s mission and ministry.
The AMP separates building-related work into three categories:
Regular cyclical maintenance refers to items that need to be done on a short cycle from every three months to five years (e.g. cleaning rainwater goods, lightning conductor test, gas installation servicing and test, electrical test, paths maintenance) together with ‘little but often’ work and minor repairs to things that break or wear out (e.g. pointing, painting metal work etc.).
Capital repairs refer to items that run on a longer cycle from five years upwards, covering the repair and or replacement of major elements of the building and site (e.g. roof coverings, stonework, electrical installation, central heating installation and WC and kitchen fittings, boundary walls, gates and railings etc).
Improvements and new work consist of alterations to the existing building to meet legislation (e.g. Equality Act requirements) or liturgical needs (e.g. changes to seating type, space for musicians) together with the changing expectations and desires of contemporary church life and society in general (e.g. WCs, kitchens, and audiovisual and multimedia facilities).
To write to your AMP you will need to gather information from the following sources:
- Log Book.
- Current Quinquennial Inspection Report (if your building is a historic one).
- Accounts (last three years) to look at spending patterns on the building.
- Annual Reports (last three years) about the building to your annual meeting.
- Other records about maintenance, repairs and improvements.
Using the historical information as the basis and working in conjunction with the architect and possibly a Quantity Surveyor, you can put together a forward-looking programme (20–30 years) of works together with realistic cost estimates. With the costs broken down into the annual sums, the AMP will enable the church to assess their ability to sustain the buildings and to address their responsibility for the church building in a more manageable way. The proactive process of the AMP will provide the church community with sufficient information to stop living in fear of what might go wrong (for traditional churches announced in the Quinquennial Inspection), and with its 30-year timeframe it enables a church to do the right thing by the next generation.
An example is shown on the accompanying spreadsheet which you can find in the Downloads section. All church buildings are different and will have differing needs and priorities, but the items shown are common to many. The totals may look scary but church members need to know accurately the scale of the task before them. If the local church is not making sufficient investment as identified by an AMP, then the capital required when a building element fails will be even more difficult to find.
This section is adapted from part of Chapter B17 of the Buildings for Mission handbook, and is the good work of Andrew Mottram.