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The aim of the
Rectories and Vicarages
Trust (RVT) is to
find ways for parsonages and other Church of England buildings
(except churches) no longer in benefice use to be saved for
Church and community. If these vital assets can be retained, not
only can the capital invested in them grow but they can be used
as a continuing source of income for the benefit of the Church.
The RVT also believes that
the Church of England can only thrive as an institution if it
retains its visibility through its fine legacy of buildings.
The constitution of the RVT
therefore has as its objects the recognition of the importance
of the role of Church buildings, and the provision of assistance
for the Church to retain, use, value and maintain them for the
mission of the Church and the benefit of the community, and in
these ways, to facilitate the mission of the Church.
To carry out its objects, it
may act as intermediary between the Church and other bodies, as
agent for either, in identifying suitable houses and arranging
for provision of repair or maintenance, and for provision of
funding, whether from its own resources or via third parties.
The RVT was set up in
recognition that the policy of the Church is to sell off houses
it deems redundant, rather than to retain them and let them out.
It recognises that the Church has thereby lost not only fine
capital assets but valuable income as a result of that policy.
For example, the rough figure of 8,000 parsonages sold off since
the war would now conservatively be worth about £4 billion, a
sum that would yield a substantial letting income.
The RVT is primarily a
facilitator and therefore a service provider, but with power to
raise funds, to be used as
grants or loans for the purchase or improvement of buildings, conditional
on any approved works being undertaken, or even to
purchase or lease houses for use
in the most appropriate and effective way to ensure their
continuing service. Preference is given to use for purposes as
close as possible to their intended use, as parsonages or as
retreat houses, or for parish or diocesan meetings or
conferences; for lettings to secure income; or where necessary
for uses such as village or community centres, or holiday
lettings. Purchased houses may be available for resale to Church
bodies. Funds may be used for the maintenance of houses, or for
assistance with outgoings, or for assisting other trusts or
bodies to purchase or create trusts to purchase houses with a
view to saving them or facilitating their use in a sympathetic
To facilitate its stated
objectives the RVT has a management committee which meets on a
regular basis to discuss strategy and projects.
The RVT welcomes all offers
of expertise and ideas. It also seeks a volunteer for the post
of Media Relations Officer. Please contact us by email at
firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Anthony Jennings at Flat Z,
12-18 Bloomsbury Street, London WC1B 3QA.