Many churches own and manage their own buildings and know only too well how challenging and expensive this can be. Yet this property is also a major asset for the church and, with enterprising management, can be used to support mission and church growth.
CTC regularly works with churches in London to support them in making the most of their land and buildings for mission.
We have researched how churches in London use their buildings and how this could be greatly strengthened with new approaches. The report ‘Assets not Burdens’ is available now.
Alongside this report, we have also published some short complementary case studies:
– St David’s, Islington – The story of how an old church building has been brought back into use through a comprehensive redevelopment and is now in active use throughout the week.
– Ark Co-Working Space, King’s Cross – The story of how a growing church plant has established a new co-working space in an old Victorian building in King’s Cross to help build community amongst freelancers and social enterprises.
The Centre has worked closely with a number of partners to develop London’s first Missional Housing Bond. We have raised almost £1 million and two properties have been purchased, in Bethnal Green and near Old Street. You can read the stories of the two flats and their occupants here.
The purpose of the Bond was to support the church’s mission in deprived communities in London through the provision of affordable rented housing for key church missional workers.
The cost of housing, including rented housing, in even the most deprived areas of London is now so high that it has become a significant obstacle to church mission. For a lot of missional work, living locally is essential to the work.
The aim of the Bond was to raise social investment to buy homes in London which can then be rented out, at well below-market levels, to church workers involved in mission in some of London’s most disadvantaged communities.
Since the summer of 2014, CTC has been working with a partnership of churches and Christian charities on an exciting project to develop a new kind of cleaning business. In February 2017, that business launched as Clean for Good. It is now fully operational.
Clean for Good is a business with a social purpose. CTC is a founder investor and Tim Thorlby, CTC’s Development Director, is one of its Directors.
The project began in the Parish of St Andrew by the Wardrobe, a church in the City of London. In research conducted by CTC, we found that as thousands of well-paid City workers depart from their offices each day, a small army of low-paid cleaning staff enter the City to clean those same offices. The differences in their working experiences were stark. Sadly, in recent years the cleaning sector in London has developed a reputation for low pay and poor working conditions. So, the Parish, with support from CTC, decided to do something about it – “let’s run a new kind of cleaning company which will set a new direction in the cleaning sector”. With support from investors and many others, a new company has been developed and launched.
Clean for Good is a different kind of cleaning company. It provides excellent
cleaning services and also values and respects its cleaners. That is why it is a
fully accredited Living Wage Employer. It wants to change how cleaning is done, from a ‘last resort’ job to one that is truly valued. Its vision is to be London’s best cleaning company and it makes two promises:
“Clean for Good’s promise to customers is to deliver high quality and
responsive contract cleaning services every time. We provide a full range
of cleaning services to offices, commercial and community premises,
including regular, one-off and deep cleans.
“Clean for Good’s promise to our cleaners is to pay them fairly (the London
Living Wage or above) every day, to manage them well and to invest in
their training and development. We believe that cleaning matters and that
Clean for Good is a business with a social purpose, established and led by a
group of churches and charities – a business which is good for our customers, good for cleaners and good for London.
Why is CTC involved in this?
Part of our mission is to help churches mobilise their assets and opportunities,
and we believe that enterprise is one important way of doing this.
We believe that business – a ‘good business’ in every sense – can be both
missional for the church and also contribute to the Common Good by doing
business in a socially responsible way. Every business should be a socially
responsible business and we want to see the church and its members leading the
way in making this a reality.
CTC undertook the initial ‘listening’ research for this project, led the development
of the Business Plan for Clean for Good and project managed the final
development and launch of the business. CTC is also now a founder investor and
provides a Director on the Company’s Board.
The Parish of St Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe has played a key role, as have our
other founder investors and a number of professional advisors and supporters. It
has been a real team effort. Now, a growing number of customers are making
this business work for real.
You can follow Clean for Good on twitter (@Clean4good) and sign up on the
website to receive the new monthly e-newsletter. Get involved!