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Alternative Use Examples

Buildings become a drain, not a tool, when spiraling heating costs and crumbling buildings hold the focus of the congregation hostage. Adaptive congregations have adjusted to smaller budgets, continuing to function with skeletal staffs and program. However, deferred maintenance costs overwhelm small operating budgets. These survivors cannot fund major repairs and operating costs of mammoth buildings constructed for larger membership. Rather than serving as a catalyst ministry, these beloved, and in some cases historic, buildings paralyze vision.

In April 2010 the ECBF hosted its' first national gathering of the "Buildings for a New Tomorrow" symposium to share information and gather best practices about how dioceses and parishes are dealing with the dilemma of too much building and too little budget, or buildings that are used only on Sunday with minimal relevancy to the community. Symposium attendees shared their expertise and their ideas. There is no one solution, but many. The most effective respond to the unique context of each congregation and community.

The ECBF has gathered examples of alternative uses of church buildings around the country. Some are purely mission focused, some are primarily an income source - using the building as a real estate asset, and others focus on creating relationship with the neighborhood community. We believe the building is being well used in a non-ministry function if that income supports its maintenance or if the income supports other ministry programs.

The ECBF goal is to keep church buildings financially self-sufficient and relevant to their context and community. You are invited to add to this list. Keep it current and creative (email additions/changes to sobrien@ecbf.org).

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After School Programs return to top

  • St. George's Community Center, Riviera Beach, FL provides Out-of-School/After School tutoring and homework assistance, character development, self-esteem lessons, and team building.
  • St. James Lafayette Square, Baltimore, MD hosts St. James Academy afterschool program in its parish center.
  • St. Margaret's & San Francisco de Asis, Miami Lakes, FL responded to the tweens and young teens with nowhere to go while waiting for working parents to return home, establishing My BackYard.
  • St. Paul's, Delray Beach, FL runs an afterschool program for Haitian youth, which provides a safe place, homework tutoring, and a family style meal.; over 90% have stayed in school.

Arts Programs (dance, theatre, music, fine arts) return to top

  • St. Mark's-in-the- Bowery, NYC has extensive experience providing a place for poetry, theatre, and dance. They have well executed lease agreements for sharing space with other non-profit tenants and artists.
  • St. Mary the Virgin, Baltimore, MD houses Wombworks Productions, an arts program for youth and their families.
  • Intercession, NYC, markets it historic building for concerts, recitals, or other kinds of performances.
  • The longest running community theatre in NY, St. Bart's Players, St. Bartholomew's, NYC, produces Off-Off Broadway theatre.
  • A parish in the Dio. of Newark removed all their pews, moved the altar and opened up church space for theater and gallery use. Income from theater productions and art shows supported outreach.
  • The 3rd Avenue Community Church in Buffalo, NY hosted a small eclectic congregation and an assortment of performing arts groups. While no longer operating, for nearly a decade it saved the building and helped to initiate a neighborhood revival that has continued. (Contact the Rev. Peter Strimer, Dio. OLY)
  • Epiphany, Chicago, IL collaborates with local dance companies and is working on creating an art community in its historic building.
  • St. James Cathedral, Chicago, IL displays sculpture on the grounds and holds art exhibits in the buildings.
  • Christ Church, Glen Allen, VA has a large music ministry, a worship band, dance, and video programs for youth.
  • Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, CA hosts an interfaith collaboration, Miriam's Well, which interweaves poetry, music, dance, and sacred text.
  • Christ Church, Charlottesville, VA holds an open forum monthly for discussion music, poetry, and visual arts and supports the offsite Garage, when the arts are performed and displayed.
  • Trinity Cathedral, Cleveland, OH is building community via the arts with a music and performing arts program.
  • Lutheran Church of the Messiah, Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY (contact the Rev. Griffin Thomas)
  • St. Mark's, Glen Ellyn, IL hosts a popular jazz band fundraiser.
  • St. Luke's, Dixon, IL holds monthly and seasonal concerts.
  • Christ, River Forest, IL shares space with a singing ensemble and folk dance club.
  • A Big Band concert and dance is held on the grounds at Christ Ascension, Richmond VA
  • The Galena IL Festival of Arts uses Grace Church as a venue for performances.
  • Grace, Chicago, IL offers free concerts co-sponsored with the Chicago College of Performing Arts.
  • Redeemer, Elgin, IL hosts weekly folkloric dance.
  • Church of the Epiphany, Chicago, houses a dance program, making use of its historically significant building.
  • Abingdon, Glouster, VA organizes the highly visible Arts at Abingdon, a series of quality musical performances for the public.
  • St. James Cathedral, Chicago, IL offers Rush Hour Concerts in its downtown location.
  • Zion Episcopal Church, Douglaston, NY rents space to a seasonal community theatre group.
  • Church of the Holy Spirit, Orleans, MA hosts the Cape Cod Community Orchestra and the summertime Chamber Music series.
  • Trinity Church, Boston, MA organized a Winter Cabaret to benefit their music program. The show features love ballads by Trinity's own singers and a silent auction.
  • Trinity Church in Redlands CA holds a Carnival of the Instruments which introduces community children to music at a young age.

Band Rehearsal Space return to top

  • Lutheran Church of the Messiah, Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY rents space for rock band rehearsals. (contact the Rev. Griffin Thomas)

Blood Drives (American Red Cross) return to top

  • Church of the Holy Spirit, Orleans, MA
  • St. Benedict's, Smyrna, GA
  • St. John's, Franklin, PA

Book Club return to top

  • St. Luke's, Dixon, IL sponsors a book club open to all.

Boomers & More return to top

  • St. Bartholomew's, NYC, has age specific fellowship groups for the 20's/30's crowd, the 40's/50's crowds for making friends, enjoying the City, outreach, and participating in church functions.

Café Restaurant return to top

  • St. Bartholomew's, NYC converted its parish hall and garden into a café restaurant on Park Ave., becoming a popular luncheon site for office workers and tourists.

Cell Tower return to top

  • St. Matthew's, Miami, FL has a contract for a cell tower that has been very lucrative.
  • Advent, Crestwood, MO has a cell tower lease.

Celtic Service return to top

  • St. Stephen's, Richmond, VA holds a weekly Celtic service that attracts many who would not otherwise attend church, and has become a large and vibrant community within the congregation.
  • Trinity, El Dorado, KS has a Celtic service.

Church Book & Gift Store return to top

  • Bethesda-by-the-Sea, Palm Beach, FL
  • Christ Church, Greenwich, CT
  • Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, CA
  • St. Marks, Ft Lauderdale, FL runs the LionHeart Gift Shop
  • St. Paul's, Delray Beach, FL runs Canterbury Bookstore
  • The 'And All The Angels' gift shop at St. Michael's, Barrington, IL supports a variety of outreach ministries.
  • Trinity Cathedral, Miami, FL runs the Christmas Shoppe
  • St. James-by-the-Sea, La Jolla, CA runs a successful gift shop of fine arts and folk-craft from around the world, marketing direct from the artist.

Commercial Gift Shop return to top

  • Church of the Holy Spirit, Orleans, MA runs the Gallery West Craft Shop which helps maintain the parish financially.
  • Trinity Cathedral, Cleveland, OH has a bookstore and 10,000 Villages shop.
  • St. Stephen's, Richmond, VA runs the Mayfair House which sells hostess gifts, jewelry, baby gifts, home décor, and frozen meals to-go (rotating teams cook weekly); they raise $35,000 a year for outreach.
  • St. John's, Richmond, VA, where Patrick Henry delivered his "Give me liberty or give me death" speech, has a Visitor Center and Gift Shop, staffed by parishioners, featuring US history items.

Columbarium & Mausoleums return to top

  • Trinity Church, NYC markets crypt and niches and funeral services to the public.
  • St. James the Fisherman, Islamorada, FL offers interment in its columbarium without regard to religious preference or any other discriminator.
  • St. Patrick’s, Lake Tahoe, NV, built a lovely non-denominational columbarium which it markets to wider community. tahoeepiscopal.com/doc/columbarium.html

Community College return to top

  • Trinity Buffalo - College Summit
  • Holy Spirit, Mattapan, MA hosts community college classes.

Community Center / Community Organizations return to top

  • St. George's Community Center, Riviera Beach, FL began with food and clothing donations distributed in the parish hall. It expanded over 11 years to provide 1900 meals weekly, after-school and school vacation programs, health programs for Moms and babies, Veterans programs, legal services, a large after-school program, and a budget that grew from $30,000 to $500.000. The meal program is staffed by 250 volunteers from 18 faith and service clubs.
  • St. Luke's, Birmingham, and Trinity Huntington, WV, are centers for social services.
  • In the Diocese of Newark a number of congregations have community development corporations. The social service agencies respond to community needs and offset building expenses by paying rent. Some have generated sufficient income to expand church programs (after school programs etc.). However, some CDCs have expanded and moved, leaving the congregation with a budget gap and unused building.
  • Trinity, Buffalo, NY, houses the Urban League.
  • Holy Spirit, Orleans, MA has so many uses of its facility they established a Space Use Committee for scheduling and oversight. Their space is used by: Cape Cod Hospital Auxiliary, Nauset Garden, Cape Cod Flu Education; Charter School special programs; /Retreats: Fraud Prevention Seminar (Orleans Police); Martin Luther King Community Breakfast; Marine Corps League Breakfast; Music Recitals; Orleans Township Pond Coalition; Parish Nurse Training Course' Quanset Harbor Yacht Club-annual; Tree of Life Peace Conference; Welcoming Churches Coalition.
  • St. John's, St. Louis, MO, has multiple non-profit tenants.
  • Intercession Community Services Council, Inc. is the outreach arm of The Church of the Intercession, NY, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation; it operates non-sectarian programs open to everyone, using Intercession's community space.
  • St. John's, Sparta, WI - Hispanic Resource Center, it outgrew the church and became independent

Conversion to a Private Home return to top

  • Renovated Church Home in Kyloe, Northumberland - A couple purchased an old church in Kyloe, Northumberland, England. They adapted the interior, leaving the outside unchanged. View photos and more information

Counseling Services return to top

  • St. Gregory's, Boca Raton, FL offers space to a Samaritan Counselor, for child, couples, and family counseling at a discounted rate.
  • St. James Cathedral, Chicago, IL launched the now independent sliding scale Cathedral Counseling Center.
  • St. Paul and the Redeemer, Chicago, IL houses the Cathedral Counseling satellite office.
  • St. John's, St. Louis, MO rents to a therapist.
  • Trinity, New Orleans, LA runs a Counseling and Training Center providing sliding scale counseling to individuals, families and children.

Craft Fair / Flea Market / Yard Sale return to top

  • St. Francis, Youngsville, PA, holds a Pleasures & Treasures craft fair with over 100 vendors.
  • All Saints, Fort Lauderdale, FL, holds a monthly flea market where vendors pay a fee for space.
  • St. John's, Homestead, FL, sponsors a rent-a-space yard sale.
  • St. Thomas, Sioux City, IA launched butter-crunch traditional English toffee candy sales in 2011 as a strategy to raise its public profile and generate income, through their Recasting of Building Assets consultation process with the ECBF. Volunteers make the candy, avoiding Unrelated Business Income Tax. They ship this delicious confection nationwide. http://stthomassc.org/New_St._Thomas/Toffee.html
  • St. Asaph's, Bowling Green, VA has been catering to the sweet tooth community with church-made English toffee for over 30 years. The church's women's group follows uses profit to fund "Women and Children in Crisis," "Access for Everyone" building fund, and local community needs. http://www.stasaphs.org/ecw-english-toffee.html
  • St. John the Divine, Morgan Hill, CA crafts Simply Divine, an artisanal line of all natural handmade soaps and beauty products. The Episcopal Women's Crafts Guild crafts recipes and fabricates products including bath salts, facial masks and candles to benefit the church. http://www.stjohndivinemorganhill.org/Simply_Divine/Simply_Divine.html

Day Care & Preschool return to top

  • Trinity Wall Street, NYC runs a full-day nursery and preschool near working parents' offices.
  • Advent, Crestwood, MO, has a preschool and day care.
  • Grace, Hopkinsville, KY has a preschool and kindergarten.
  • St. Benedict's, Smyrna, GA has a preschool and day school (contact the Rev. Lang Lowery)
  • Holy Comforter, Miami, FL has a bi-lingual Day Care program.
  • St. Matthew's, Miami, FL runs a licensed cooperative pre-school where parents are directly involved in running the school.
  • Church of the Good Shepherd, Tequests, FL hosts Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS).
  • St. Christopher's, Haverhill, FL has a preschool arrangement through Rainbow Kids Learning Center, Inc.
  • St. Mark's, Fort Lauderdale, offers Mommy's Morning Out day care, to give Mom's a respite from child care for a few hours.
  • St. Stephens, Richmond, VA has preschool and music program for wee ones.
  • Holy Trinity, Decatur, GA has a preschool program.

Demolishing Building return to top

  • Diocese of Alabama gave a defunct campus ministry center to the fire department to use for training, allowing it to be burned-down, to prepare the site for a new ministry center.

Dog-Friendly Services return to top

  • St. Francis, Stamford, CT has a monthly service where pets are welcome in the building.
  • Church of the Advent, Chicago, IL holds Morning Prayer for Dog Walkers.
  • Christ Ascension, Richmond, VA hosts a monthly Howl-eliuah outdoor pet friendly service.
  • St. John's, Chicago, IL holds services in its gardens during the summer where dogs are welcome.
  • St. Paul's by the Lake, Chicago, IL hosts AniMeals, a service of free pet food for those who qualify for public assistance.

Driver Safety Course return to top

  • St. Luke's, Birmingham, AL hosts an AARP driver safety course for seniors in the community.

Exercise Classes return to top

  • Holy Spirit, Orleans, MA, holds Everybodies Yoga Workshop.
  • St. Luke the Physician, Miami, FL offers weekly exercise classes.
  • Trinity Cathedral, Miami, FL offers yoga classes.
  • Grace, Chicago, IL holds yoga classes.
  • Trinity, New Orleans, LA holds yoga classes in its adjacent school gym.
  • St. Bartholomew's, NYC, has a full recreational facility offering classes and facilities rental for basketball, floor hockey, volleyball, soccer, yoga, tennis, and fencing.
  • St. Stephen's, Richmond, VA provides space for affordable yoga and tai chi classes as part of its broad wellness ministry.

Farmers Market return to top

  • St. Stephen's, Richmond, VA - Using its parking lot, as part of the parish's broad focus on wellness, the market emphasizes organic and sustainable local farming. The number of vendors renting spaces doubled in 1 year. Leftover produce and extras from parishioners' gardens are distributed through the parish food pantry, along with recipes. Rated #5 best farmers market nationwide.
  • St. John's, St. Louis, MO
  • Lutheran Church of the Messiah, Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY (contact the Rev. Griffin Thomas)

Film (Movie) and Photo Shoots return to top

  • Intercession's, NYC, remarkable interior and exterior spaces have been the setting of many films, television programs, and magazine shoots. They also make their gym and Common Room available to film companies for catering and holding.

Food Cooperatives return to top

  • Grace Church, West Palm Beach, FL operates a food coop with fresh and frozen nutritious meals at discounted prices.
  • St. Stephen's, Richmond, VA is the pickup site for customers for a regional food coop.
  • Trinity Cathedral, Cleveland, OH hosts Midtown FreshStop coop for local produce.
  • St. Thomas, Chicago, IL is a drop off site for Angel Food, a discounted food coop.
  • Holy Trinity, Decatur, GA houses the Decatur Emergency Assistance Ministry (including a food kitchen) on the first floor of their building. DEAM is a ministry of Holy Trinity, in conjunction with several other Decatur churches.

Festivals return to top

  • St. John the Evangelist, Flossmoor, IL holds an annual ice cream social on its grounds.
  • St. Stephen's, Fairview, PA holds a Strawberry Festival.
  • Trinity, Huntington, WV holds a Fall Festival with huge rummage sale, hunted house, and Bar-B-Q.
  • St. Paul's, DeKalb, IL holds a sell-out annual Lobster Boil fundraiser.
  • St. Stephen's, Richmond, VA holds a Blue Grass Festival fundraiser.
  • St. Stephen's, Richmond, VA hosts an annual flower festival in May. Spaces around the church are showcased in floral designs by local businesses and volunteers. Attendees are welcome to take a tour of the church and can augment their stroll with afternoon tea service.

Film Series return to top

  • Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, CA holds film nights with provocative discussion advertised to the public.

First Responders return to top

  • St. Jude's in Hermitage, PA conducts a worship service and fellowship meal to honor EMS workers, Firefighters, and Police Officers. Emergency vehicles are brought to the church and blessed.

Food Pantry return to top

Collecting food is a practice of most Episcopal congregations. The following are congregations that have particularly large and organized distribution programs.

  • Navajoland has an old building in the Utah region, which is being converted to a community food pantry on one side, and an AmeriCorps computer teaching program. The agencies are helping with the costs of conversion, and will use the building rent free.
  • The St. Paul's Cathedral in Erie, PA food pantry served over 5200 people in one year.
  • Daily distribution supported by the community, St. Paul's Cathedral, Fond du Lac, WI
  • St. Paul's Cathedral, Erie, PA serves a meal to 50 food pantry friends once a month.
  • Church of the Ascension, Chicago, IL soup kitchen and food pantry has provided 1500 bags of groceries and 2000 bag lunches.

Fundraising return to top

  • St. Stephen's, Richmond, VA sponsors an annual Blooming Tea and Fancy Nancy Tea Party for Mother's Day. In tandem with a spring flower festival and tour, volunteers hosted a high tea for ladies and a special themed tea party for children (often accompanied by Moms and Grandmoms) under 6.

Gala Dinners return to top

  • Intercession, NYC, opens the nave of the church to be the setting for elegant corporate galas and fundraising dinners.

Games return to top

  • St. Luke's, Stuart, FL hosts BINGO every Friday night for socializing and fundraising.
  • St. Martin's, Pompano Beach, FL hosts weekly BINGO for members and the community.

Gardens return to top

  • The Vacant to Vegetable gardens at St. Helena's, Burr Ridge, IL supply food banks.
  • Trinity, Fulton, KY planted a community garden on their property. They pick the produce and place it in bags for people to take anonymously.
  • Epiphany, Chicago, converted an abandoned space into a flower garden used for parties, worship, and for the pleasure of the community.
  • Christ Church, Cape Girardeau, MO has a community garden.
  • Advent, Crestwood, MO, has a community garden.
  • Church of the Intercession, Fort Lauderdale, has a community garden with plots for rent.
  • Trinity Cathedral, Miami, FL participates in the interfaith Edible Garden, which provides fresh produce for a women's shelter.
  • St. Giles, Northbrook, IL has a sustainable community garden.
  • Vegetables for their hunger program are raised at St. Nicholas, Elk Grove, IL.
  • Grace, Galena, IL opens its meditation garden to the community.
  • Holy Trinity, Decatur, GA participates in a community garden, with proceeds going to the Decatur Emergency Assistance Ministry. and other food banks.
  • Trinity Episcopal, Statesville, NC built garden beds in an unused space of church property. The beds are leased to members of the greater community for raising vegetables, herbs and flowers for personal consumption. http://www.trinityepiscopalstatesville.org/outreach.htm

Gay & Lesbian Fellowship Groups return to top

  • Trinity, Buffalo, houses the Gay & Lesbian Youth Services.
  • St. Bartholomew's, NYC hosts a monthly gathering of LGBTQ of any faith background for fellowship and to study civil and religious rights and responsibilities.
  • St. Bartholomew's, NYC hosts a fellowship group for the friends and family of LGBTQ.
  • All Saints', Atlanta, GA is home to GALAS, (Gays and Lesbians of All Saints'), a fellowship group for LGBTQ parishioners.
  • Trinity Church, Boston, MA sponsors an open gathering for food, fellowship and discussion.

Going Green return to top

  • Trinity Cathedral, Cleveland, OH has geothermal heating & cooling, uses environmentally friendly materials, recycles and upcyles.
  • St. John's, Chicago, organized the Genesis Group for going Green.
  • The St. Stephen's, Coconut Grove, FL Day School is pursuing the LEED certification for Green Building.
  • St. Thomas, Coral Gables, FL Day School has a Green Team.
  • Holy Trinity, Decatur, GA has a solar array on the south roof of Tisdale Hall that includes 20 Suniva PV modules generating 4.7 KW of power. The system is connected back to the Georgia Power electrical grid and the power generated will offset a portion of Holy Trinity's monthly electrical bills. The parish has a number of other "green" initiatives in place as well.

Housing & Apartment Complexes return to top

  • In the 1980's St. John's, Stamford, CT sold a portion of its downtown property to developers, creating an endowment for its historic building and providing housing options for a variety of income levels.
  • St. Mary the Virgin, Baltimore, MD, cosponsored with HUD to develop the St. Stephen's Court Apartment Complex in the 1970's, still providing affordable housing today.
  • The few remaining members of Washington Square United Methodist Church, NYC, sold the historic building in 2004 to developers of luxury housing. The members joined another congregation.
  • In the 1990's Christ Church, Greenwich, CT, converted its historic rectory into staff apartments in an area where housing costs are high. The elegant first floor, with caterer's kitchen, is now a meeting and reception space, used by the parish and is available for rent. They hosted an 'interior designer showcase' fundraiser.
  • At St. Edmund's, Chicago, IL the Redevelopment Corporation has since its inception in 1990 developed 60 units of senior housing and 450 units of quality affordable housing and a small commercial space in 21 buildings.
  • In a pilot project with the city, St. Thomas, Chicago, IL was deeded the Safe Haven House to house children and train foster care parents.
  • St. James, Cambridge, MA is engaged in a process with developer for a housing development project which will give church a new parish hall & offices.

Housing - Assisted Living / Senior Housing return to top

  • Holy Comforter, Miami, FL, has an independent living facility for the elderly through a relationship with HUD.

Homeless Shower Ministry return to top


Homeless Emergency Shelter return to top

  • The Diocese of Fond du Lac leased and eventually sold the Bishop's residence to non-profit agency to be a shelter for families and housing for the abused women; the city now permits the agency to house 25 people in the residence that formerly housed two people and cost the Bishop $10,000 annually to heat. The Bishop now receives a housing allowance.

Homeless Warming Shelter / Day Shelter return to top

  • The former Dean's residence on the grounds at St. Paul's Cathedral, Fond du Lac, WI, is now a warming shelter for daytime homeless, and a food pantry. Prior to the conversion it was in disrepair, but now receives support from community organizations.
  • St. John's, Chicago, IL opens its doors for drop in hours for the homeless once weekly.
  • St. Luke's, Stuart, FL, opens its fellowship hall to provide showers and fresh clothes to the homeless, helping them maintain comfort and dignity.

Homeless - Short Term Sleeping return to top

  • All Saints, Fort Lauderdale, FL participates in "hospitality weeks" where they provide housing and meals for families within their property.
  • St. Stephen's, Richmond, VA participates in CARITAS hospitality weeks, hosting homeless families.
  • Trinity, Wheaton, IL hosts homeless one night a week through Public Action to Deliver Shelter.
  • Emmanuel, LaGrange, IL participates in 'Beds Plus Incorporated", which provides a day program and overnight sleeping once a week for the homeless.

Kitchen - Community Meals return to top

  • The Peace Meal program at St. John's, St. Louis, MO provides a free meal to all in the community once a week.
  • Trinity Cathedral, Miami, FL runs Feed My Sheep, a weekly breakfast for homeless and those living on the margins.
  • Christ Church, Cape Girardeau, MO
  • St. John's, Charleston, WV "Manna Meal" soup kitchen operates in church
  • St. James Cathedral's Sandwich Sunday's incorporates children in making of 100 sandwiches for the homeless into their regular Sunday School curriculum.
  • Emmanuel Church, Greenwood, VA collaborates with 16 other churches to provide hot lunches daily.
  • Church of the Covenant, Junction City, KS has take-out dinners cooked in the parish kitchen.
  • Christ Church, Charlottesville, VA, in cooperation with other congregations, offers a weekly loaves and fishes lunch to anyone who comes through the door.
  • Christ Church, Waukegan, IL holds a weekly community meal for 80 people.
  • Trinity Church, Boston, MA prepares home-cooked meals to go in their kitchen. Pastoral Care volunteers deliver food to families with new babies and parishioners who cannot prepare their own.

Labyrinth return to top

  • Grace, Hopkinsville, KY bought an abandoned commercial building and replaced it with a labyrinth and sitting area - the space has become a prayer & lunch site for the public.
  • Church of the Good Shepherd, Tequesta, FL has an outdoor labyrinth.
  • St. Helena's, Burr Ridge, IL has a labyrinth.
  • Trinity Cathedral, Cleveland, OH offers a choice of labyrinth experiences.
  • St. Charles, St. Charles, IL has a portable labyrinth available for rent and a permanent outdoor labyrinth.
  • Grace Cathedral, San Francisco has an indoor and outdoor labyrinth that draws visitors to the church and bookstore. They offer walks by candlelight and music.
  • Trinity, El Dorado, KS has an outdoor labyrinth.
  • Holhy Trinity, Decatur, GA has a monthly Taizé and Labyrinth service in Tisdale Hall that features recorded and live Taizé music and a portable labyrinth.

Nightclub return to top

  • Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, CA holds EpiscoDisco, offering art, music, and fellowship in its nave.

Parking Lot Use return to top

  • The Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, CA parking lot is leased and operated by a professional parking lot company.
  • Trinity, Buffalo rents its parking lot for income.
  • Church of Our Savior, Lincoln Park Chicago, IL rents spaces to neighbors and businesses when the church is not holding services or events.
  • Holy Nativity, Claredon Hills, IL uses its parking lot to hold a family farm day to support Heifer International.
  • The Church of the Atonement, Atlanta, GA has rented its parking lot to the neighboring Synagogue, who will put temporary classroom trailers there while their new school is being built. At the end of the lease, the parish will also receive a repaved lot and playground equipment.

Parking - Valet return to top

  • St. Luke's, Birmingham, AL offers valet parking to seniors and the physically challenged.

Pumpkin Patch return to top

  • St. Mark's, Glen Ellyn, IL has an annual pumpkin patch that raises significant funds for outreach.

Real Estate Swap return to top

  • The Diocese of Alabama traded an old building in Union Springs to city for use as arts center in exchange for two acres of land on which a church can be located when the congregation is restarted.
  • Holy Spirit, Mattapan, MA is exploring a development to swap some land

Renting/Leasing Space return to top

  • St. John's, St. Louis, MO has multiple non-profit tenants.
  • Intercession, NYC, markets its historic building for programs and parties of all occasions.
  • Trinity, New Orleans, LA, rents office space to professionals.
  • St. Stephen's, Coconut Grove, markets its lovely facility for rental.
  • Grace, Chicago, IL markets its fellowship spaces for meetings, celebrations and to other non-profits.
  • St. Benedict's, Bollingbrook, IL makes its space available for a variety of neighborhood uses.
  • St. Gregory, Boca Raton, FL provides space for homeowners associations to meet.
  • Christ Church, Spotsylvania, VA rents its fellowship hall for memorabilia show, clubs, family gatherings, and receptions.
  • Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, CA markets its meeting rooms and fellowship space for rent.

Rummage Sale return to top

  • The rummage sale at Christ Church, Winnetka, IL is nationally known as one of the oldest and largest-grossing church rummage sales.

School return to top

Contact National Association of Episcopal Schools for help in developing a school

  • In Montgomery, AL, a parish is leased to a Montessori school.
  • In the Dio. WMASS a large, urban parish leases space to a charter school as one of their best strategies to fund the maintenance of the building
  • King of Peace, Kingland, GA, (contact the Rev. Frank Logue)
  • St. Christopher-by-the Sea, Key Biscayne, FL has a Montessori School.
  • Grace & Trinity Churches, Cowley County, KS has the longest running Montessori school in the state.
  • Holy Sacrament, Pembroke Pines, FL has a contract with a charter school since 2008 which provides a predictable income.
  • Todos Los Santos & Holy Cross, both in Miami, earn $70,000 from independent schools on their site.
  • St. Matthew's, Miami, has leases with two schools which have enabled their ministry to thrive.
  • St. Joseph's, Boynton Beach, FL has a pre-K to 8th grade Episcopal School.
  • All Saints', Atlanta, GA has a contract with an independent daycare provider that utilizes space in the parish children's center to provide daycare facilities to parishioners and the public alike.

Senior Citizen Services return to top

  • All Saints, Fort Lauderdale, hosts Meals-On-Wheels lunches and serves as a place for senior to socialize.
  • St. Luke's, Birmingham, AL has exercise classes, outreach opportunities, and monthly social gatherings to support a positive attitude toward aging for the semi-retired and retired, open to friends in the community.
  • Grace Church, West Palm Beach, FL hosts a weekly seniors group.
  • Church of the Ascension, Miami, FL hosts "Affirmative Aging" to support seniors in living full lives.
  • St. Benedict's, Smyrna, GA offers a seminar on planning ones' final affairs and living will.
  • Trinity Church, Boston, MA hosts Hardy Perennials, the self claimed, "youth group for those over 60" and Taking Stock women's prayer group for the parish's senior members.

Shared Space with Other Congregations & Denominations return to top

  • In the Diocese of Western Massachusetts two neighboring parishes have started worshipping together on a full time basis swapping spaces in anticipation of a permanent merger into one building.
  • In the Diocese of Western Massachusetts a cluster of five churches chose to worship together for Lent as part of an experiment to see what a consolidated church may feel like and a way to save on energy costs.
  • An Anglo congregation in Huffman AL closed and gave their building to a Hispanic congregation.
  • In Montgomery, AL, a parish is leased to Methodist Korean congregation.
  • At Indian Hill Episcopal/Presbyterian Church, Cincinnati, OH clergy serve a multi-denominational parish.
  • Zion Episcopal Church, Douglaston, NY rents worship space to a Korean Congregation.
  • Holy Redeemer in Lake Wood, FL holds services in English and Spanish.
  • Church of the Incarnation, Bloomington, IL hosts Pakistani and Indian, and Philippine Independent congregations.
  • Church of the Resurrection, Biscayne Park, FL holds services in Spanish and English.
  • All Angels, Miami Springs, FL includes a Spanish congregation.

Summer Camp return to top

  • St. Benedict's, Smyrna, GA has a day camp for ages 2-14.
  • St. Andrew's, Miami
  • Christ Church, Winchester, VA holds SINGGG (Sing God's Glory), a music camp.
  • St. Paul and the Redeemer, Chicago, IL, camp with Godly play.

Support Groups return to top

  • Al-Anon
  • Alcoholics Anonymous
    • All Saints', Atlanta, GA
  • Autism support group
  • Bereavement support group:
    • St. Luke the Physician, Miami, FL
    • Trinity, Aurora, Il
    • Emmanuel, LaGrange, IL
  • Care Givers support group
    • St. Paul's, Clay Center, KS
    • St. Luke's, Birmingham, AL
    • St. Stephen's, Richmond, VA
  • Divorce support group
    • St. Luke's, Birmingham, AL
  • Gay-Lesbian, Bi-Sexual, Transgender support groups
    • Trinity Church, Boston, MA
  • Job Search support group
    • St. Gregory's, Deerfield, IL
  • Narcotics Anonymous
  • National Alliance of Mental Health
  • Nicotine Anonymous
    • Holy Trinity, Decatur, GA
  • Overeaters Anonymous
  • Pet support group
    • Church of the Covenant, Junction City, KS

Teaching Space return to top

  • Trinity, New Orleans, LA hosts a Trinity Educational Enrichments Program (TEEP), summer program of academic and recreational activities for 5th and 6th graders to instill a love for learning and provide a space for personal growth.
  • Zion Episcopal Church, Douglaston, NY rents space to a violin music school.
  • Ballet classes are held at Trinity, Chicago, IL.
  • Church of the Atonement, Chicago, offers tutoring.
  • St. Francis, Youngsville, PA hosts art classes.

Tours return to top

  • St. John's Richmond, VA, where Patrick Henry delivered his "Give me liberty or give me death" speech runs daily history tours of the building and graveyard, and a costumed re-enactment of the event.
  • Christ Church, Millwood, VA sponsors 'A Lark Through Clark', a self-driving tour through scenic area to benefit the Cunningham Chapel Parish.
  • Church of the Incarnation, Miami, FL provides an online art and architecture tour.

Thrift Store return to top

  • St. James, Batavia, NY operates a thrift store in its basement.
  • Bethesda-by-the-Sea, Palm Beach, FL runs the Church Mouse Re-Sale shop which funds outreach ministry.
  • Church of the Holy Spirit, Orleans, MA runs The Free Store, providing free clothing.
  • Holy Sacrament, Pembroke Pines, FL runs a New-To-You-Shoppe.
  • St. Mark's, Palm Beach Gardens, FL runs a large thrift shop - Saints Alive.
  • Church of the Good Shepherd, Tequesta, FL runs the Pennies from Heaven thrift store.
  • St. Paul's, Delray Beach, FL runs the beautiful TurnOver thrift shop.
  • Christ Church, Spotsylvania, VA Thrift Store arranges pickup of donated goods, and has a clear list of items they accept (because they sell), and those they don't (due to lack of demand or safety concerns).
  • St. Andrew's, Grayslake, IL gives away free children's clothing at their Elijah's Mantle.
  • St. Christopher's, Oak Park, IL has a free 'Back to Work' clothes closet.
  • Holy Nativity, Claredon Hills, IL runs the Divine Treasures Resale shop, which funds outreach programs.
  • St. John, Naperville, IL runs the Pennywise Resale Shop to fund outreach programs.
  • St. Paul's, Coffeyville, KS has a thrift shop.
  • All Saints', Atlanta, GA has a children's clothing ministry that provides free clothing to children and infants.

Used Medical Equipment Loaning return to top

  • St. Luke's, Birmingham, AL has gently used medical equipment available for loan to parishioners.
  • Charlie's Closet, Guilford, CT provides used medical equipment for short term loans to anyone who needs it.

Voting Sites return to top

  • St. Gregory's, Boca Raton, FL serves as a voting site for the community.
  • Holy Trinity, Decatur, GA serves as a voting site for the community.

Weddings return to top

  • Epiphany Chicago advertises their openness to conducting marriage ceremonies.
  • Intercession, NYC markets it's space for wedding receptions.
  • St. Bernard de Clairvaux, North Miami Beach, FL has a clear marketing plan for their exceptional wedding space.
  • St. Benedict's, Plantation, FL rents their attractive fellowship hall and kitchen for receptions.
  • St. Mary's, Stuart, FL has a well developed marketing plan for renting the fellowship hall and commercial kitchen for parties, receptions, craft shows, real estate expos, culinary programs, concerts, and conventions. The 'Wedding Guild' attends the weddings to help with the flowers, dressing rooms, and wedding party instructions.
  • St. Paul's, Key West, FL markets its site for non-member weddings.
  • St. Thomas, Coral Gables, FL has clearly outlined the terms for weddings on their website.
  • Grace, Galena, IL has a helpful website welcoming others to the church for weddings.
  • Trinity, Huntington, WV invites non-members to hold their wedding and has a useful website outlining the terms.
  • Grace, Oak Park, IL has a fee schedule for weddings on its website.
  • Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, CA invites non-members to hold weddings in their beautiful spaces, and posts clear guidelines.
  • The Acqui Episcopal Church, Stafford, VA website has guidelines on holding weddings.
  • St. John's, St. Louis, MO has a friendly web site inviting non-members to be married at the church.
  • St. Paul's Within the Wall, Episcopal Church Rome, Italy, offers a blessing of the vows service to Japanese couples who travel to Italy to have the experience of a traditional church venue wedding. This helps to fund its on-site welcome center for refugees.
  • St. Bartholomew's, NYC, markets its beautiful site in line with other New York City priced wedding venues.
  • Trinity, Buffalo, has a successful wedding service program, designed to help the building be financially self-sustaining.

Weight Loss Groups return to top

  • St. Francis, Youngsville, PA hosts weight loss groups.

Wellness / Alternative Medicine return to top

  • Church of the Holy Spirit, Orleans, MA hosts Reiki Harbor for Healing.

Youth Offenders return to top

  • Trinity, El Dorado, KS has a weekly teen prevention and intervention program for non-violent juvenile offenders.