The times are tough. With COVID-19-related lockdowns and associated cash flow issues, most establishments across the world have been struggling for the past few months. Places of worship have also been closed for most of the first half of 2020. Now a report has emerged on how 100 churches in the UK have found a novel way to supplement their revenue and cover their running costs. These churches are making more than £20,000 (Dh96,000) every month, an average of £200 (Dh960) each, by renting out their empty car park spaces to motorists needing somewhere to park.
The report, based on research done by YourParkingSpace.co.uk, found that more than 100 churches are listed on the portal’s pre-booking parking website, where motorists can find flexible, and alternative, options to on-street parking and traditional car parks. The report also points out that since there are around 16,000 registered churches in the UK, this represents only a fraction of the total number who could be making significant additional income as over 85 per cent of these churches have suitable parking spaces.
“The parking income helps to support the running costs of the church, which as a Grade I listed building are significant,” says Rebecca Oliver, facilities and commercial manager of St Wilfrid’s Church in Harrogate, which grabbed the opportunity to offer affordable parking, while attracting people to look around the church. She said listing the church on the parking app was a straightforward and affordable way for the church to monetise its car park, without having to spend a lot of time managing it.
Many churches listed with YourParkingSpace.co.uk are located near city and town centres, where demand for parking spaces is traditionally high, and can be pre-booked on an hourly or daily basis.