Why is the National Churches Trust providing this service?
The National Churches Trust is the national, independent charity dedicated to supporting and promoting places of worship of historic, architectural and community value used by Christian denominations throughout the UK.
We have spoken with churches, dioceses, funders and individuals about the challenges churches face in maintaining their buildings. Feedback suggests that some churches struggle to identify appropriate contractors, do not have time to research contractors, are unsure what maintenance they need, do not have volunteers able to perform maintenance, or 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 National Churches Trust launched MaintenanceBooker in Yorkshire during 2017. This Yorkshire pilot was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), and has allowed us to test systems and operating policies before offering the service to other counties / dioceses across England and Wales.
Following discussions with dioceses across England and Wales we have determined that there is a need and demand for MaintenanceBooker widely. As a result we are preparing to launch the MaintenanceBooker service gradually across all regions of England and Wales from Spring 2018.
The continued development and expansion of the MaintenanceBooker service across England and Wales has been made possible through generous sponsorship from the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group and funding from the Joseph Rank Trust, The Church in Wales, The Pilgrim Trust and the National Churches Trust.
You can check if MaintenanceBoooker is available in your area by using the map on the home 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.
A small charge is made to each contractor to help cover the cost of managing MaintenanceBooker and ensure that a high quality of service is maintained.
Who is 2buy2, and how are they involved?
2buy2 is a Christian procurement business that was set up to support churches in their buying of goods and services to save money on purchases and services. 2buy2 have relationships with the Church of England, the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, the Methodist Church of Great Britain and the Church of Wales covering approximately 13,000 churches. 2buy2 deliver professional procurement services by MCIPS qualified individuals with years of experience within the church sector.
Are your contractors qualified to deliver maintenance services?
Yes, we require proof of registration with one of the following bodies depending on the services that the contractor is supplying
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).
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 Service
Contractors delivering this service must currently be registered with the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) or National Federation of Builders (NFB) and have health and safety accreditation e.g. CHAS
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?
First you submit a job request for the work that you would like carried out. MaintenanceBooker will then send the job request to all the contractors registered against that job type who cover your geographical area. Contractors interested in the job will send you a quote to review. 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 contractor fees?
The National Churches Trust is making a limited number of grants available for churches that might not be able to afford the service. Grants of up to 50% of the cost of the gutter maintenance service only are available until April 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 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 and 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 historic 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 National Churches Trust directly to raise a complaint at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 ask that you also use the ratings system to demonstrate that you were not satisfied.