In June 2018, Archaeovision were appointed as the contractor for the development of the Mission and Mortar toolkit for the Diocese of Hereford. The diocese is one of the 42 dioceses within the Church of England, and was founded in 676AD and covers roughly 1,650 square miles, serving a population of 326,000 people. The diocese has 405 fascinating and historic church buildings which covers Herefordshire, south Shropshire and parts of Worcestershire, Monmouthshire and Powys.
The Mission and Mortar Toolkit was created thanks to a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant and will enable these historic buildings to continue acting as a focal point for worshippers, while also serving the wider community.
Through a logic based questionnaire, which went through an iterative process of testing and redevelopment with members of churches within the Diocese Of Hereford, the Mission and Mortar toolkit will help communities identify new and existing resources, based on the specific needs of the individual, and their churches.
Over 300 resources are available through this toolkit, and with over 170 questions, the questionnaire provides tailored responses both in terms of the questions asked, the resources available, and the overall category of church type that the building falls under. All data is held within a central survey page available to the individual and allows churches to access and start (and duplicate) multiple questionnaires, so that specific answers can be altered to gain new insights and tailored resources, together with the ability to download PDF copies of the answers, resources per question, and the overall category resources.
The site is available at missionandmortar.hereford.anglican.org and was officially launched on the 15th October 2019 by His Grace, the The Right Reverend Justin Welby, The Archbishop of Canterbury at St Laurence church in Ludlow, Shropshire to an audience of over 300 people. The site has a register function to access this tailored resource function, as specific resources have been tied to data held centrally by the Diocese. Publicly available however are the list of the resources per category type which provides an overview of the resources and it is hoped will be used nationally and across multiple faith groups.
The St Peter’s team demo for @JustinWelby of #MissionMortar software to help rejuvenate church buildings. It’s been developed by @HerefordDiocese and will launch nationally later today in #Ludlow #JustINHerefordshireShropshire #CofE pic.twitter.com/X0nPwK8txs
— Sybil Ruscoe (@SybilRuscoe) October 15, 2019
Mission & Mortar toolkit will enable local communities to identify resources to help look after historic church buildings across diocese – https://t.co/MokacmEenM
— National Lottery Heritage Fund Midlands & East (@HeritageFundM_E) October 15, 2019
The website is now being actively engaged with, and over the next year, will begin to form the basis of a strategic review process for the Diocese of Hereford, and will assist them in understanding the requirements of each church, based at a local and regional level.
We are very proud of the tool that was created, and together with the Diocese of Hereford, we will continue to develop the system, to improve the usage of the site following user feedback, and the team will update the site with new resources when they become available.
Our thanks go to Diocese of Hereford, specially Wendy Coombey MBE, Community Partnership and Funding Officer; Tim Bridges, Church Buildings Support Officer; Simon Whaley, Church Projects and Funding Support Assistant; Mary Oxley, PA to the Community Partnership and Funding Officer; together with the Mission and Mortar Steering group and the Abbeydore Deanery Pilot Parishes who tested the first few versions of the site.
The system was developed thanks to the hard work of Hembo Pagi, and Liisi Taimre, and was project managed by James Miles.