As early as 1775 the Wesleyan Conference passed a resolution required consent before any new chapel was built and shortly afterwards a building committee was established. At the time Methodists were enthusiastic builders of chapels but all too often found themselves getting in to serious debt and so in 1817 a Fund for the relief of distressed chapels was instituted, followed by the establishment of the Chapel Loans Fund in 1827. It was around this time that Chapel Committees became associated with
I’ve repeatedly seen during the last year how a good building can enhance the mission of a local church, rather as so often happens becoming a burden to it, and it was good to talk with the staff in the Resourcing Mission Office who work to make so many projects across the country a reality. They respond on a daily basis to questions great and small from around the Connexion and I thanked them for the work they do on behalf of so many.
On the floor above are the offices of the Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes. TMCP Chief Executive, Anne Hughes-Holmes, told me about their work and introduced me to the rest of the team. TMCP provides practical support to managing trustees, acting as custodian trustee of all property held on Model Trusts of the Methodist Church Act. The property includes all land and buildings used for local church purposes, all circuit and district manses and most Connexional properties, together with funds which support the mission of the church in these places. It is also the custodian of over 8000 separate trusts which include permanent endowments and other gifts to the churches. It is important work carrying great responsibility and I was impressed by the dedication and professionalism of the staff.