Places of worship across England can now offer their spaces for hire on a new website, which promises to simplify the rental process.
Churches all over the country rent out their halls and rooms not only for financial upkeep but also to warmly welcome a larger audience.
Founded by Felix Atkin, Sharesy aims to help local individuals and businesses easily discover and book community spaces for various purposes, such as children's activities or gatherings for older people.
Traditionally, navigating this process involved challenging communication, including phone calls and emails, and clumsy transactions through bank transfers. But the website wants to simplify the entire experience, allowing users to find and book venues within seconds, making the process much more straightforward.
Atkins told Premier around a third of the venues already advertised in the platform are churches.
“There are some churches, of course, that are already hiring up their spaces and generating a good income from their whole hire. There are others that don't hire out their spaces at all. And through Sharesy, we are helping those to start generating their first few £1,000 a month, which is really important income that can go back into improving the facilities and the amenities, and supporting the local community.
He continued: “And then for those churches that are already generating, several thousands of pounds per month, we can just reduce the amount of effort it takes to be able to take those bookings. We can help make it very easy for local people to understand what they can and can't do in those spaces and to be able to make a very quick booking and we become a bit like an extension of the team for the church.”
The venues typically range from £20 to £50 per hour, with variations based on the type of space and its location. While central London churches may have slightly higher commercial rates for events like filming or performances, Atkin stated they want to “democratize the process” and provide "choice for everybody".