Location: Southern Ohio

Facility Size: 71 Parishes across Southern Ohio

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Revitalizing Faith Through Facilities: The Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio Transformation

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Reverend Canon David Getreu faced significant challenges in managing the extensive property portfolio of the Southern Ohio Diocese, including 71 facilities, many of which date back to the 1800s. The primary obstacles were finding a cost-effective, detailed facility assessment service and securing the necessary funds.

The Decision for Change:

The desire to undertake facility condition assessments (FCAs) was driven by the need to address deferred maintenance and provide realistic outlooks for parishes facing substantial improvement costs. This initiative, two years in the making, aimed to equip parishes with data to make informed decisions about their facilities in light of declining congregations and budget cuts affecting maintenance.

Smart Church Solutions Steps In:

Choosing Smart Church Solutions for their FCAs offered the Diocese of Southern Ohio a detailed, affordable assessment option, unlike other more expensive alternatives. The assessments provided a comprehensive view of each facility’s condition, highlighting both immediate needs and longer-term maintenance strategies.

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Outcomes and Insights from the Facility Condition Assessments:

Though not all decisions on the FCAs’ findings have been finalized, the process has already sparked significant discussions at both the diocesan and parish levels. Parishes are beginning to tackle manageable maintenance tasks, improving their facilities’ aesthetics and functionality. On a broader scale, the FCAs are guiding strategic financial planning and tough conversations about the viability of maintaining certain properties.

“Doing the FCAs was well worth it. It’s opened our eyes to a lot of unseen issues. We’re now better equipped to prioritize tasks, fundraise effectively, and make tough decisions about our facilities’ futures. This process has not only helped us address immediate maintenance needs but has also reinvigorated our communities’ connection to their church buildings.” – Rev. Canon David Getreu:

Looking Forward:

With the FCAs nearing completion, the Diocese anticipates difficult decisions regarding funding assistance for parishes and the potential consolidation of facilities. Yet, this process has laid a foundation for proactive management and community engagement, ensuring the long-term stewardship of the Diocese’s cherished buildings.

For any organization on the fence about the value of an FCA, Reverend Canon David Getreu’s experience underscores its worth, both in revealing hidden maintenance needs and in fostering a renewed sense of pride and responsibility within the community.