Local churches can greatly benefit from objective, impartial and sympathetic outside advice, which is informed by knowledge and experience of local church life and needs.  This help can be valuable
  • when churches and leaderships have specific difficulties which they feel that they cannot resolve on their own
  • in more positive circumstances, when churches want an objective view of their strengths, weaknesses and strategic opportunities.
Even the best and biggest churches can find outside help profitable. Seeking it is not a sign of weakness or inability to cope.
  • Would you find it helpful to have outside help in thinking through issues with which you are grappling?
  • Do you find yourself needing outside pastoral support?
Partnership may well be able to offer you help. Here are some suggestions – click on the links below for more information:

Every so often it is worth standing back and thinking about church life and whether we can become more effective in our mission:

  • Do we have a clear and shared sense of purpose?
  • Is our activity shaped to fulfil our  mission and vision?
  • Are our leadership and governance structures effective?
  • Can we benefit from God’s gifts to the wider church and perhaps contribute something for the good of others?

Partnership is keen to see independent churches maximize their mission potential.  Working with a team of experienced advisers, we are willing to resource a church check – without charge to the local church.  (Though if you can cover travel costs, that is greatly appreciated.)

What Happens?

Churches asking for a church check will first be send a questionnaire for the leadership to complete.  This is in itself a helpful exercise as it gets leaders thinking together about their own assessment of the church’s current situation.  It is all too easy to find that the urgent issues of the moment cloud our vision of the realities that some objective questions bring to light.

In light of the church’s comments, the adviser will produce a report and recommendations for presentation to the church leaders.  The report may include suggestions for additional advice or ministry support, making use of connections through Partnership.  

Churches who are considering appointing church staff would find it particularly helpful to conduct a church check as part of their preparation to welcome a new worker.  Indeed, recognising the gifts God has already given to the church is an essential element of determining what sort of staff role might be most helpful.  And a church check report could help potential candidates determine if they are a good fit.

Many churches will not want to appoint staff, however, but would benefit from the help of an evangelist or Bible teacher, or perhaps access to training that can be locally delivered and in keeping with church’s ethos.  We are developing a network of senior workers (including some of our church check advisers) who will supervise missionary teams who can support churches in their mission – either short term or longer.

For more details, contact your Regional Coordinator or Alistair Hornal, PartnershipTrustee/Director.

Partnership has a team of experienced church leaders who can advise churches and their leaderships, and assist individuals. Some have nationally-known ministries. Others have long years of grappling with the problems of leading a particular congregation from day-to-day. The consultancy service is accessed through Alistair Hornal. He can help identify the consultant who would be best placed to deal with your particular case.

Do you need advice on matters relating to trusts, constitutions, charity status, or governance? Partnership has an advice service. Contact Neil Summerton

Papers giving advice on trust matters, particularly relevant to the circumstances of Partnership churches are available:

Current issues for trustees (May 2018)

Bringing trust and trusteeship arrangements up to date (December 2008, pending revision)

Religious charities, public benefit and related matters (April 2009, withdrawn for revision)

CIOs for church charities: a joint Church Growth Trust, Stewardship and Partnership Briefing Paper  (March 2013)

When applying to establish a Charity, some churches with an Open Brethren background have encountered difficulties with the Charity Commission in relation to potential confusion with the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church.  We have produced a joint paper with Church Growth Trust to help churches to clearly indentify themselves and avoid this potential confusion:

The ‘Brethren Movement – a briefing paper

For property related matters we reccommend that you contact our sister organisation, Church Growth Trust, who have s trusted and proven track record for supporting in this area of expertise.

For safeguarding matters you can contact Thirtyone:eight, formerly CCPAS, who are experts in this area and only too happy to assist.


If you need help, on any matter of church life,  you can contact Partnership for advice, or for suggestions of other agencies who may better meet particular needs. Email info@partnershipuk.org and we will respond to you.  Be sure to leave your telephone numbr if you wish us to contact you this way.

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