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The Use, Conservation, & Change of Church Buildings - CED00029M

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  • Department: Centre for Lifelong Learning
  • Module co-ordinator: Information currently unavailable
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Summer Term 2020-21

Module aims

This core module engages students with the issues and demands facing church congregations today with regard to:

  • Questions of sustainability and maintenance,
  • Exploring the potential for creative use of their buildings
  • Considering their potential role in mission and community cohesion
  • Addressing some of the specifics of practical conservation issues
  • Looking at the bigger picture of the broader life and purposes of a church community.

Module learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the module, students will:

Subject content

  • Equip and animate a generation of individuals who will encourage the church communities with which they are involved to engage better with their buildings.
  • Understand the principles of the regulatory framework governing change to church buildings, both ecclesiastical and secular, and how these interface.
  • Have a sound knowledge of the key processes and documents that are involved, such as faculty jurisdiction (in the Church of England), and the attendant requirements for Statements of Significance and Needs.
  • Using practical examples, they will learn to read a church building for its overlapping layers of significance
  • Know when and how to commission support from external consultants.

Academic and graduate skills

  • Provide leadership and direction in project delivery
  • Gain an understanding of specialist technical language and frameworks
  • Employ interdisciplinary approaches to interpreting evidence
  • Demonstrate an ability to engage appropriately with professionals and specialists in different fields


Other learning outcomes (if applicable)

Completion of the module will thus enable students to provide leadership for their own church communities through the processes of assessing the use and significance of their church buildings, including its rootedness (or otherwise) in its local community.


Task Length % of module mark
4000 word essay
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
4000 word essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

The tutor will give regular individual verbal and written feedback throughout the module on work submitted.

The assessment feedback is as per the university’s guidelines with regard to timings.

Indicative reading

  • ChurchBuild website
  • Dyas, D. ed. The English Parish Church Through the Centuries: Daily Life and Spirituality, Art and Architecture, Literature and Music. York: Christianity and Culture at the University of York, 2010.
  • Giles, R. Re-pitching the Tent: The Definitive Guide to Reordering Your Church. Norwich: Canterbury Press, 2010.
  • Helps, B.E. Church Architecture and Domesticity: The Aftermath. York, 2010
  • Kieckhefer, R. Theology in Stone: Church Architecture from Byzantium to Berkeley. OUP, 2008.
  • McAlpine, W. Sacred Space for the Missional Church: Engaging Culture Through the Built Environment, Oregon: Wipf & Stock, 2011.
  • Rodwell, W. The Archaeology of Churches. Stroud: Amberley, 2013.
  • Sladen, T. Churches, 1870-1914. London: The Victorian Society, 2011.
  • Whiting, R. The Reformation of the English Parish Church. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses

The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.

Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.

Course changes for new students