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North London church's paid-for parking funds local community projects

All Saints Church in Islington has raised more than £140,000 in much-needed funds for community projects, simply by renting out its parking spaces ...

All Saints Church in Islington has raised more than £140,000 in much-needed funds for community projects, simply by renting out its parking spaces.

In just over four years, the Church, located near St Pancras Station, has nearly reached the £150,000 mark by renting its parking spaces through online marketplace www.ParkatmyHouse.com.

The money has so far contributed to community projects that benefit the homeless, local residents and parents. Projects include the Rainbow mother and toddler group, Alcoholics Anonymous and a scheme that helps feed and shelter homeless people in the local area.

All Saints Church first registered with ParkatmyHouse in November 2007 and has proved to be a hugely popular destination for St Pancras train passengers looking for a safe, convenient and affordable place to park near to the station. The church has had more than 5,000 bookings in the last four years. Around a quarter of these are for people taking the train. The others are drivers working in the local area who are fed up with over-priced car parks and parking tickets.

And All Saints Church is not alone. According to ParkatmyHouse, they are part of a growing trend. In the last 12 months alone, the number of churches signing up on their website has risen by more than 100%.

More churches are recognising the benefits of utilising their otherwise unused space by advertising their own car park spaces. Many of those churches listing spaces are London-based, but others are cropping up around the country including in Liverpool, Manchester and Bristol.

Founded in 2006, ParkatmyHouse has more than 200,000 drivers in the UK alone who use its website and iPhone app to book a driveway, garage or car parking space on a one-off or long-term basis. Despite the name, it’s not just residential home-owners who make use of the service to earn an extra income. As well as churches, offices and restaurants are joining the parking revolution.

Alex Stephany, CEO of ParkatmyHouse.com, comments:

“We’re proud to be able to connect these churches with people who need to rent the spaces. It’s really exciting to see these business-savvy churches taking part in the so-called ‘sharing economy’ and reaping the benefits. In turn, they’re providing a valuable service to their local communities.

"It would be great to see more churches making proper use of their property – it’s free for them to list their spaces so they really have nothing to lose. Charity giving has really suffered since the recession. Imagine if every church earned a few thousand pounds each month. The benefits would be felt community and country-wide.”

Vicar Ted Fell of All Saints Church, Islington comments:

“Thanks to ParkatmyHouse and the 1,000 or so people who parked with us in 2012, we’ve been able to fund events like Rainbow, and a carer and toddler group for the whole community. More parishes could and should benefit from renting out their unused outdoor space.”

FEEDBACK: Does your church raise funds this way? Let us know ...

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