Why is the National Churches Trust providing this service?

We have spoken with churches, dioceses, funders and individuals about the challenges churches face in maintaining their churches. Feedback suggests that some churches struggle identifying appropriate contractors; do not have time to research contractors; are unsure what maintenance they need; do not have volunteers able to perform maintenance; or do not have the money to pay for it.

The NCT is committed to helping sustain historic churches as places of worship and community facilities. Maintenance is critical to ensuring that historic church fabric is conserved, and that buildings are run in the most efficient manner. The MaintenanceBooker system is a response to the issues listed above, designed to help make it easier for churches to plan, book and pay for essential maintenance.

Is MaintenanceBooker available in my area?

The MaintenanceBooker service was initially launched as a pilot in Yorkshire during 2017 with funding provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund. This pilot allowed us to test systems and operating policies before developing plans to offer the service to other counties / dioceses.

Following discussions with dioceses across England and Wales we have determined that there is a real need and demand for MaintenanceBooker locally and as a result MaintenanceBooker will be launched across the rest of the country throughout 2018.

On June 1st 2018 the Maintenancebooker service will be available in the North East and North West of England, The Midlands and across Wales.

On 3rd Spetember the MaintenanceBooker service will become available in the South East and South West of England, the East of England and Greater London.

You can check if Maintenanceboooker is available in your area by using the map on our Services page.

How do I know I can rely on the contractor to deliver a quality service?

The contractors on MaintenanceBooker have been vetted through an open tender process overseen by 2buy2. The selection process included questions about the contractors experience working with churches, any relevant qualifications, and references from completed works. We also ask clients to rate the contractors after each visit, allowing you to see what other churches felt about the service provided in terms of value for money, reliability, and overall customer satisfaction.

Who is 2buy2, and how are they involved?

2buy2 is a Christian procurement business that was set up to support churches in their buying by saving money on purchases and services. 2buy2 have relationships with the Church of England, Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, Methodist Church of Great Britain and Church of Wales covering approximately 13,000 churches. They deliver professional procurement services by MCIPS qualified individuals with years of experience within the church sector.

Are all contractors insured?

Yes. All contractors on MaintenanceBooker have been carefully vetted through an open tender process. Checking that contractors have adequate and appropriate insurance for the services they are delivering is an important part of the vetting procedure.

How do I select a contractor?

Firstly you create and submit a Quote Request for the service you require by using the MaintenanceBooker "Get a Quote" facility. You will have access to the "Get a Quote" facility once you have registered with Maintenancebooker and logged in to your account.

MaintenanceBooker will then send your Quote Request to all the contractors, registered against that job type, that cover your geographical area. Contractors interested in the job will send you a quote to review within 7-14 days. You can review the quotes, information about each contractor, and their customer satisfaction ratings before deciding which contractor appears to be the best suited to your requirements.

Is there any financial support available for churches that might struggle with the MaintenanceBooker contractor fees?

Yes.

The National Churches Trust is making a limited number of micro grants available for churches that might not be able to afford the cost of a MaintenanceBooker Gutter Clearance service. Grants of £250 and £500 towards the cost of this service will be available throughout 2018.

We will review the level of grant funding annually for these micro grants.

In addition, the Trust is piloting a Maintenance Grants programme to help churches with any additional repair works identified through the Maintenance Plus service. For example, if your gutter clearance report identifies loose roof tiles or flashings, there are grants of £1,000 - £2,500 available to help churches address small faults before they become big, expensive repairs.

Is this service limited only to churches?

No. The service is available for any church, chapel or meeting house, church halls or other related buildings. It is also available to other organisations tasked with looking after non-ecclesiastical historic buildings. However, grants are only available for gutter clearance works on Christian places of worship.

What do I do if I am not happy with the service provided?

Initially you should contact the contractor who delivered the service to raise any complaints about the quality of the work.

If your issues cannot be resolved by the contractor, then you can contact the MaintenanceBooker team directly to raise a complaint at enquiries@maintenancebooker.org.uk. We will follow up with the contractor to resolve the issue. We will monitor the quality of contractor work and reviews and remove any contractor with unsatisfactory service from the site.

We would request that you also use the customer ratings system to demonstrate that you were not satisfied.

The customer ratings system will become availabile to you before you receive your service report

How are MaintenanceBooker contractors managed?

MaintenanceBooker contractors are appointed to deliver their services following a robust, open tender process. They are contracted for 4 years to deliver the services and their performance is regularly reviewed by the procurement team at 2Buy2.

Although the contractors do not have to pay a registration fee to be part of MaintenanceBooker they are charged a small amount per service to help cover the cost of the MaintenanceBooker supplier review process.

This charge also enables 2Buy2 and NCT to provide a dedicated customer service line for MaintenanceBooker customers.

Are MaintenanceBooker contractors qualified to deliver maintenance services?

Yes.

All contractors are asked to provide details of their experience and skills during the tender vetting process. In some cases we require the contractor to be registered with a professional body or to have received professional accreditation from a recognised organisation to give further assurances on the quality of the service they provide.

Please see a few examples below of the types of accreditations and registrations we ask for:

Lightning Protection System Inspections

Contractors delivering this service are required to be registered with either: Electrical Contractors Association (ECA), National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC), or The Association of Technical Lightning and Access Specialists (ATLAS)

Tree Surveys/Inspection

Contractors delivering this service are required to be Arboricultural Association Registered Consultants

Tree Maintenance Service (Surgery)

Contractors delivering this service are required to be Arboricultural Association Approved Contractors

Rainwater Goods Maintenance Plus Service

Contractors delivering this service should possess an acceptable health and safety accreditation e.g. CHAS

Asbestos Managament Services

Contractors delivering these services must be accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS)

Accreditation by UKAS means that certification bodies have been assessed against internationally recognised standards to demonstrate their competence, impartiality and performance capability.

Do I need special permissions to carry out maintenance services on my building?

Special permissions may be required from your organisation or governing body before certain types of maintenance or repair work may be carried out; especially if your building is Grade 1, 2* or Grade 2 listed. For further advice on whether you may need to obtain any necessary permission please visit our guidance articles in the "Useful Links for Customers" area of our Maintenance Resources Pages