converting churches

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With the limited space in the uk we are seeing a rise in the development of churches into residential accommodation. As specialist commercial mortgage brokers and bridging loan specialists we get quite a few questions regarding converting churches. When a church becomes unused or falls into disrepair they are decommissioned as a place of worship by the religion. This means that developers or people looking to buy a church may purchase and turn it into a dream home. Although you will need to apply for planning permission it can be a great way to have your dream home. According to research by Get Me My Mortgage there are over 30 churches closed per year and in the last 75 years over 8000 Methodist chapels have closed down.

Top reasons for buying and converting a church. 

  1. History

What is better than owning a piece of history and restoring an old building to its former glory with your own taste and style mixed in. Once a church has been closed if no one buys it, it will be left to ruin and this is a waste when there is a shortage of space as it is.

2. Space

Churches are large open plan and beautifully designed. If you are looking for a large living space it can be an excellent idea and will allow you lots of options for interior design.

Can i get a mortgage for a church conversion?

The type of mortgage you will need to buy a church conversion will depend on what you are looking to buy. If you are looking to buy an already converted church then the mortgage process will likely be simpler and there will be less steps for you to take. It is unlikely that you will be able to get a 100% mortgage for your church conversions so you will need a minimum of 10% deposit of the buying price. Then the usual affordability and credit checks will be carried out. if you have bad credit or are self employed it may prove more difficult to get a development mortgage through a traditional lender but there are many specialist lenders out there and with the right deposit and affordability you may be able to get what you need

If you are looking to carry out your own conversion then there is more too this and you will likely need development finance to ensure you have the resources to complete your project. This is a big undertaken and should be seriously considered if you have no previous experience in development.You will need to employ an architect to plan and design your conversion, this will also give you an idea of the cost and time it will take to develop.

If you are wanting to convert a church and are looking at your options then speak to the experts here at Get Me My Mortgage. Our expert brokers will inform you of everything you need to know and help you secure the finance you need to make your dream a reality!

Categories: Helen Parish Blog

Catholic Church to Exhume Cardinal Newman’s Body

The Catholic Church has been granted a license to exhume the body of Cardinal John Henry Newman, according to the August 24, 2008 print issue of Our Sunday Visitor.
Cardinal Newman’s cause for sainthood was opened 50 years ago. Officials at the Vatican in April of this year ruled that a healing in 2001 was the result of Newman’s intercession. The patient, Deacon Jack Sullivan of Marshfield, Massachusetts, suffered from a serious spinal disorder. After praying to the cardinal, he was reportedly cured.

Newman’s cause is expected to advance when the committee of theological consultors convenes again on September 30. Should they determine that the healing was in fact a miracle, their conclusion goes forward to the Vatican’s sainthood congregation. The next leg in the journey involves confirmation of the consultors’ findings by the sainthood congregation, then the Pope. Once the cause has passed these hurdles, the cardinal can be beatified and called “blessed.”

Cardinal Newman is presently buried in a grave in a small cemetery in a suburban area outside Birmingham, England. The Church wants to transfer his remains to a marble sarcophagus located in a church inside the city so that pilgrims will have an opportunity to venerate them.

A 19th-century British law forbids transferring bodies from graves to church tombs. As a result, when the Church first applied for a license to exhume the cardinal’s body, it encountered difficulties.

The original plan was to secure the license by August 11, which marked the 118th anniversary of Newman’s death in 1890. However, approval was delayed for several months due to the old law. The British Ministry of Justice decided to make a special exception to the legislation to permit the exhumation to proceed.

Now that the Archdiocese of Birmingham has finally received the license, it plans to keep the date of the exhumation a secret. However, it will undoubtedly occur before December, when Vatican watchers expect Pope Benedict XVI to announce Cardinal Newman’s beatification.

In 1991, Newman was declared “venerable.” Originally an Anglican, he converted to Roman Catholicism in 1845, in his mid-40s. Before he rose through the ecclesiastical ranks en route to being named a cardinal, he was a major figure in the Oxford movement, which sought to bring the Anglican Church back to its Roman Catholic roots.

Born in London, he was the oldest of a banker. He attended Oxford University and at one point, held Calvinist beliefs. During a long illness, he developed an interest in and began reading the history of the Church fathers. These readings were considered one of the most important influences in his formation as a Roman Catholic.

Categories: Helen Parish Blog

Free Printable Catholic Liturgical Calendars and Activities

Ordinary time and summer is a great time to research free printable Catholic lesson plans, activities, coloring pages, crafts, devotionals, prayers, cut and paste, games and religious lesson plans. Here are free printable Catholic liturgical calendars and church season activities.
Fait and Science group has a free printable six page activity booklet with lessons based on the Catholic liturgical calendar. has a comprehensive free printable liturgical calendar compiled for every year up to 2012. The calendar lists saints feast days from the western Roman calendar. The calendar is color coded according to church season (ordinary time, lent, advent and Holy Days of Obligation). Here is the link to print the 2010 liturgical calendar. Here is the 2011 calendar. And here is the Catholic church liturgical calendar for 2012. Be sure to visit the link at the beginning of this paragraph for other online and web versions of the Roman calendar.

Easter Brooks (click here) has an daily clickable, interactive online Catholic liturgical calendar. I’ve linked you to the ‘Today Page’, which of course will change daily. Visit the ‘Select a Date’ to search the website by date. Click on ‘Find a Date’ to search by Catholic event, season or saint. Each of these free printable monthly liturgical calendars is available as a free printable page. The calendar printable is neatly organized, color coded according to the liturgical season, noted with symbols for certain events (fast days, Holy days of obligation, novenas, etc.). There are also listing for saints feast days, too.

Magnificat Calendar while this calendar is precisely printable, it is very interactive and complete. Click on any month listed on the top menu bar. Each month will be shown chronologically, with the saints whose fall in that month.

Cyber Faith (click here) has an interactive Catholic liturgical calendar with links to free printable activities according to grade.

CatholicMom (click here) has free printable Catholic church liturgical calendars and season by season pull out pages with gobs of free printable Catholic activities for parents, homeschoolers and Catholic educators.

I’ve surprised and pleased to note that of the article topics I write on, Catholic activities are among the most popular. I monitor my blog keywords and request list. That is how I know what people are looking for to use in their homeschools, curriculum, Sunday School, religious education, CCD and family devotions. Visit the blog listed in the side bar for more free printable Catholic, Christian and religious activities.

Categories: Helen Parish Blog

Free Printable Catholic Games, Coloring, Activities

With All Saints Day on November 1, the Catholic church moves into the countdown toward Advent and the church new year. Catholic school teachers, religious education instructors, homeschoolers and parents will enjoy these free printable games and activities. use these for lessons, party games, holy day activities and family fun.

  • St. Anne’s Helper has links for 480 free printable Catholic coloring pages. Some are vintage prints and others are styled like stained glass windows. Subjects include: advent, Bible, Christmas, devotions, Easter, holidays, first communion, sacraments, confirmation, saints, rosary, lent, Palm Sunday, prayers, novenas, Our Lady and many more.
  • The Bingo Maker has free printable bingo cards for basic Christian subjects: women of faith, Christian symbols, holy places in the world, Noah’s ark and more.
  • DL-TK has a customizable bingo card creator. You can add more or fewer options, and choose from images or text. Some appropriate themes for Catholic include Veggie Tales, Christmas and Bible.
  • Free printable Catholic bingo games: Click on Bingo Card Creator to get premade and customizable bingo cards. Create your own list or use those in the data bank. Bingo Card Creator has printable Catholic saints, prayers, devotions. seasons, holy days and other liturgical bingo cards. The link is sometimes tricky to access, but it’s a good resource.
  • Catholic Mom has a free printable activities index related to Sunday mass and gospel readings. There are coloring pages, crossword puzzles, mazes, word searches, jigsaw puzzles and crafts. Themes include holidays, saints, Bible and prayers.
  • Waltzing Matilda has hand-drawn Catholic saints coloring pages arranged according to the church liturgical calendar. There are saints for each month of the year.
  • Become What You Are is contains links to dozens of free printable Catholic coloring pages. There are holiday and holy day images, plus mysteries of the rosary, Eucharist and general Bible themes. These images are quite intricate and would make good coloring activities for older children who like more challenging crafts.

I suggest printing these images to help children respond to religious teachings. When little ones can are actively engaged, in such as by coloring, they find it easier to focus. If you give children’s artwork to a senior friend to enjoy, then the child can feel like his coloring is helping someone else, too.

Categories: Helen Parish Blog