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Micro-loans for sacred spaces

Micro-loans for sacred spaces

The Episcopal Church Building Fund has established a micro-loan fund to assist small to mid-sized congregations to develop creative uses for their biggest material assets: their buildings.

At their second, national, ecumenical symposium, Buildings for a New Tomorrow, the Episcopal Church Building Fund announced today it has set aside a loan fund for the specific purpose of encouraging parishes to rethink conventional use of their buildings. “With over 500 Episcopal churches closing in the past decade, we need to become masters of creativity and imagination in using our sacred space” said Julia Groom-Thompson, President of the Building Fund.

These micro loans are intended primarily for small to mid-sized parishes that will use the funds to make strategic changes to their facilities and leverage opportunities for revenue generation, with a goal of financial self-sustainability. Examples include relining a church parking lot to make it available for lease, refurbishing of a parish hall for rental, removing church pews to enable mixed use of sacred space, or bringing a kitchen up to code for commercial purposes.

The Building Fund has initially set aside $100,000. The monies will be available at less than half the usual interest rate, with no origination fee, for a term of up to 15 years. Applications will be considered on a case by case basis, with an emphasis on parishes developing creative ways to further their mission and integrate into their community. For more information or an application go to www.ecbf.org.

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