The Finance Officer is the responsible person in the office for dealing with Sharing Agreements. Fortunately, the Moderator also has experience of the complexities of Sharing Agreements as does the Synod Ecumenical officer.
It is important to recognise that a Sharing Agreement under the Sharing of Church Buildings Act 1969 is only one of the ways in which buildings can be shared. Other approaches may, in any given circumstance, be more appropriate.
Sharing Agreements do not create ‘unified’ churches. In some cases a Sharing Agreement may be seen simply as a necessary step to enable non-URC weddings to take place in an URC church. That may be all that is looked for. One the other hand proximity- rather than absence- can sometimes make the heart grow fonder. Opportunities for growing together in congregational life and witness will often present themselves. Churches who thought that their own life would continue as normal may discover that there is much more that can be shared besides a building.
If you wish to consider entering into a Sharing Agreement, please notify the Moderator in the first instance or alternatively the Finance Officer. Please recognise that the legal document will need to be drawn up by Cobbetts and this will incur a legal fee which will need to be paid by the Church concerned.