Mission per Square Foot

A fresh look at your place of worship and how to maximize your congregation’s community impact

Faith & the Common Good’s “Mission Per Square Foot” program is designed to help any congregation fully harness their building in a way that meets its mission, acknowledges its capacity, protects the environment and serves the larger community.

Regeneration Works: Places of Faith

Places of faith have anchored and shaped our communities for generations, and remain social and physical landmarks, whether in urban or rural settings. Many congregations are at risk as they face declining attendance and insufficient funding to maintain and operate their buildings.

Recognizing that congregations and communities are struggling with these issues, the National Trust for Canada and Faith & the Common Good, two national not-for-profit organizations, have come together to provide expertise, training, advisory and custom coaching services under the banner Regeneration Works: Places of Faith.

Whether the goal is to keep the doors open, or make strategic real estate decisions that serve the faith group and the community, the National Trust and Faith & the Common Good offer hope, inspiration and solutions based on our work from across the country. Our approach is national, non-sectarian, interfaith, and interdisciplinary. We bring made-in-Canada strategies that unlock challenging situations and sites, with the ultimate goal of enhancing the social, spiritual and cultural health of the community.

Working with faith organizations, congregations, property managers, community groups, heritage specialists, or local governments, our multidisciplinary team of experienced practitioners brings proven methodologies for faith property regeneration – all tailored to address the unique challenges faced by faith groups and their communities.

To find out more about how we can meet your faith property regeneration needs, contact Stephen Collette at regeneration@faithcommongood.org.

Upcoming Events

Regenerating Places of Faith: A workshop for south-central Ontario communities
Date: Sat. Feb. 25, 2017, 8:30am – 4pm
Place: Trinity United Church, 360 Reid Street, Peterborough

posterThe City of Peterborough is excited to announce a one-day workshop on Regenerating Places of Faith, in partnership with the National Trust for Canada and Faith & the Common Good. Participants in this workshop will hear inspirational stories from across Canada and from the Peterborough area, and will learn how to tackle key issues threatening places of faith through community engagement strategies, cost reduction techniques, innovative space sharing models, and approaches to successfully re-use a former place of faith.
Registration: $35 (includes refreshments and lunch)
Click here to register.

Exploring Sacred Space: Regenerating Places of Faith
Date: Sat. Mar. 11, 2017, 10am – 3:30pm
Place: University of Toronto Multi-faith Centre, 569 Spadina Ave., Toronto

posterFaith & the Common Good, Green Awakening Network, and the Multi-faith Centre of the University of Toronto are collaborating on this 2017 Annual Forum. The forum will bring together people from a variety of religious traditions, will explore the challenges presented to old and new faith communities by changing demographics, and will stimulate thought as to how we can creatively transform and use our religious institutions for the next generation.


  • Keynotes on Sacred Space in religious thought and measuring the social impact and value of faith communities by Dr. Stephen Scharper (School of the Environment and Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto), and Dr. Mike Wood Daly (The Halo Project),
  • Workshops on 4 diverse case studies of Toronto faith communities who have regenerated their buildings,
  • Interactive presentations, designed to help you find winning ideas for re-purposing and regenerating your faith building.

Registration: $35 (includes lunch and light refreshments)
Click here to register.

Past Events

October 19-22, 2016 — National Trust Conference: Heritage Rising
Hamilton Conference Centre
The first session of this national conference was entitled “Building Strength: Regenerating Places of Faith”. National Trust for Canada Project Leader, Robert Pajot, and Faith & the Common Good Advisor, Kendry Fry, led this half-day workshop, sharing inspiring examples from faith communities across the country and proven regeneration strategies and tools. A follow-up workshop was also held later in the conference.

Saturday, May 14, 2016 — Regenerating Places of Faith: A Workshop For Ottawa’s Communities
All Saints Church, Ottawa
The National Trust for Canada and Faith & the Common Good partnered to offer this one-day workshop, sharing inspiring examples and proven regeneration strategies from across the country and from the Ottawa area. Local faith groups, heritage and community organizations shared their experience, concerns and creative solutions to the challenges confronting places of faith.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016 — Re-capturing Faith Vitality: How to maximize rental space and revenue
Online webinar
Faith & the Common Good’s Board Chair, Randal Goodfellow, and Mission per Square Foot Advisor, Kendra Fry, shared:
1. Best Practices for marketing to and retaining long term tenants.
2. A few things that you should know about public health, insurance and fire safety.
3. St. Luke’s Anglican (Ottawa) case study; re-purposing of sanctuary into multi-purpose space.

About Mission Per Square Foot

Helping communities rejuvenate and repurpose faith buildings — where many faith buildings are more than 100 years old, facing dwindling congregations and increasing operating costs — to meet community needs in a sustainable manner is a pressing matter.

MPSFThe program supports faith groups to help create partnerships within the community (such as with social enterprise centers), to amortize embodied energy and operating energy and other environmental costs over more use, and to evaluate the service capacity of the congregation to meet its mission goals.

We are piloting this new program in Ottawa & Toronto with financial support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Participating congregations will develop a “Mission per Square Foot” action plan tailored to their needs, ensuring that their faith buildings become a true blessing to the neighborhood.

  • MPSFcase.jpgWe started this exploration of Mission per Square Foot in the fall of 2013 at the Regenerating Faith Property for Mission forum in Ottawa.  The Forum explored how faith communities could regenerate buildings and facilities to meet community needs, and do so in an economic and environmentally-friendly manner with community organizations, social service agencies, development companies, environmental groups, municipal governments and cultural bodies as partners.
  • Our Ottawa chapter has also identified 10 local case studies from diverse faith communities who are fully and sustainably utilizing their buildings in service to their mission and the larger community.
  • Check out the video below from St Luke’s Anglican Parish in Ottawa to see an example of how congregations can build upon sustainability retrofits in order to improve their mission per square foot.


financial sustainability