Five minutes with Champing Manager, Neil Best

As Champing™ continues to go from strength to strength, we interview Champing™ Manager, Neil Best to find out a bit more about what he does.

How did you become Champing Manager?
I worked in retail for many years, on the operational management side, but I’ve always had an interest in history and studied art history, focussing on medieval German art. When I saw the job advert for Champing™ Manager, I thought it would be fascinating to work with historic churches and to do something completely different.

Neil Best

What does your day-to-day work involve?
It’s incredibly varied, which is what I like about it. I work from home some of the time, which is just outside Manchester, but I also travel out to our Champing™ churches, which are all across the country. Some of my work has involved overseeing the installation of Champing™ loos, measuring box pews to see if camp beds will fit and meeting volunteers and locals to consult with them about Champing™.

What are the benefits of Champing to CCT?
The obvious benefit is that the income raised goes back into conserving our churches, but it has also opened up conversations with volunteers and friends groups about why we need to raise income and has even generated new fundraising ideas. Other fundamental benefits include the huge media coverage that Champing™ has generated, raising the profile of CCT and opening up the conversation about the re-use of historic churches.

What’s been your favourite part of the job so far?
I really enjoy getting out and meeting people and seeing different parts of the country. Something that I didn’t expect, but have thoroughly enjoyed, is bumping into visitors at churches and hearing their stories. I can remember being in a remote church last December with a photographer, not expecting to see anyone, and there was a handful of people who came into the church for different reasons and they all had stories and connections with the place. They were all really interested in what we were doing and supportive of CCT.

Find out more about The Churches Conservation Trust here

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