REACH Ely (Reimagining Churches as Community Assets for the Common Good) project was run from 2018 to 2022 to help communities make fuller use of their historic churches. The project was implemented by the Diocese of Ely and Cambridge Judge Business School with the support of Benefact Trust (formally known as the Allchurches Trust) and Historic England.
This innovative research project in a church context provides an understanding of the relationship between communities and the wider use of church buildings as well as the contribution that churches make to the common good. The project determines community values, needs and opportunities that can be used in the most effective way to ensure a win-win outcome for communities and sustainable future of historic church buildings.
This Church Building and Community Audit Report provides a summary of the findings, supplemented with information from the REACH Ely case studies, on church and community interaction, and community use of church buildings and church halls within the Diocese of Ely. The audit findings thus demonstrate the extent to which participating churches serve their local communities. The data shows that the majority of churches value their church buildings as a space for religious worship, a quiet place for reflection and prayer, a setting for occasional offices, and a space for cultural events.