The new Parish Buying website goes fully live tomorrow, though it seems pretty functional already. The aim is for the 13,000 parishes of the CofE to save £10m a year between them by co-operative purchasing. The site covers energy, IT, office supplies and equipment, and fire safety. Individual churches, church schools, cathedrals etc. can order through the site, but pay at discounted rates because they're one of hundreds ordering through the same source.
from the press release:
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."
good bit of work, well done to those who've set this up. If they could cover Fair Trade coffee and decent biscuits, then we really would save a packet (sorry). I wonder if there's a way of extending it to non-CofE churches?