Favourable deals have been negotiated on a range of products and services including gas and electricity, heating oil, photocopiers, stationary, IT software and fire safety, by the Church's two National Procurement Officers.
"This is not just about saving money, although we are aiming for annual savings of £10 million," says Dr John Preston, National Stewardship Officer. "The Parish Buying service will help parishes both to buy with confidence, knowing contracts have been professionally negotiated, and to be better stewards of their spending."
Stephen Marriott, Guildford Diocesan Secretary and who chairs the National Procurement Group says, "This new service is designed to save time and money. It has come from the thinking of a well-informed team in whose mind the needs and potential benefits is uppermost. It is timely too. I'm confident that it will be of potential benefit to every parish, particularly when many are finding the current financial climate challenging."
The service is not just aimed at helping parish churches. Cathedrals, clergy, dioceses and church schools can also benefit. During 2012, training resources will also be offered to parishes. These will range from "20 ways to save your parish money" short sessions to full-day "cost control training" aimed particularly at helping parishes that are embarking on major capital projects.
The website opens fully on 30th January 2012, having been in its pilot phase since November 2011.