Alienations & Encumbrances

Our parish spaces are far more than buildings; they are places of mission and ministry. Our beautiful, historic, and well-located churches are spaces of gathering; both for our faith communities and for our local communities whom we are called to serve. As we open our arms in welcome and stretch out our hands in service, God continues to invite us to explore new ways to engage our parish spaces, buildings, and properties for mission and ministry in the 21st century.

Sometimes the invitation to greater mission and ministry comes in unexpected ways, including through the alienations and encumbrances process. Our buildings require financial support to maintain them, often resulting in the diversion of precious funds and energy from ministry and mission. Perhaps, though, our buildings can serve as sources of revenue. By exploring creative ways to transform and redevelop our spaces, we can diversify income for the future of our parishes and their missions and ministries.

Christ Church, Easton, went through a successful encumbrance process.

Efforts to redevelop our properties need to be approached carefully, ensuring they reflect both the mission of the church and safeguard the long-term viability of the parish and the property. Through the Alienation and Encumbrance process, ECCT serves as a second set of eyes on leases, mortgages, easements, and all other forms of alienations and encumbrances to ensure that the parish’s short- and long-term interests are protected.

In addition, should the parish close and the parish assets (including property) return to the care and oversight of the diocese, it is also important to ensure that ECCT is aware of all encumbrances entered into by a parish so that ECCT is able to fulfill the terms of the encumbrance as it is obligated to do.

If your parish is ready to explore an encumbrance or alienation, we encourage you to explore the FAQs and timeline below. Once you have completed your work and your documents are assembled, please complete the Alienations & Encumbrances Form. Please note: the process from online submission through the decision of Standing Committee and the Bishops can take approximately 10-12 weeks.