Selling your church property is an emotional time with a lot of decisions. Here are some helpful things to consider as you go through this process.
Top Things to Consider
1. Sale Value
Depending on where you are located, if your church is heritage, how much land you have, the zoning of your land, the bylaws of the municipality, and many other factors, the value of the church property and building will vary tremendously.
A real estate agent gets paid based on the sale happening. It is always good to get a second opinion from someone who does not benefit from the sale of your property. EDGE (firstname.lastname@example.org) can support you through this process.
2. Furniture, Stained Glass, and More...
What to do with all the stuff in the church? The key is that there are some very important things to be preserved in the church and there are some things that are simply junk.
A good exercise that you could do as a council or as a congregation is to walk throughout the church with coloured stickers. One colour can represent things that are absolutely necessary to keep or preserve. Another colour for nice to haves. And a final colour for things to donate, sell or throw away. By doing this, it is a grieving process as you walk through the building contemplating the loss.
For when you have the things that you are donating, throwing away, or selling, consider having an auction or an event to get rid of these items.
3. Your Legacy
What to do with the proceeds from the sale? If you know that you want your funds to do specific work, consider having a trust or endowment set up under the United Church of Canada Foundation or giving a part of the proceeds to an existing fund within the Foundation.
Example: A church was sold and wanted to replant and reimagine church in the future. A portion of the sale was donated to the existing New Ministry Fund.
Example: A church was sold and wanted to ensure that its mission of seniors in the small town continued to be supported. They were able to create an endowment with this specific mandate to continue supporting local initiatives.