John Salmon
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Concrete gold mines: churches make half a million by renting out car parks

Fri 26 Feb 2016
By Aaron James

Churches in Britain have made more than half a million pounds by renting their parking spaces online.

Congregations across the UK have been using the website and app JustPark to let out their car parks to commuters seeking to book spaces before they set off.

There's been a 60% increase in churches signing up to use the company since 2014, signalling churches are beginning to realise how much their car parks could be worth.

40 churches are currently registered with JustPark.

One church in King's Cross, central London, has made more than £200,000 in the last four years by renting out its parking spaces. It's used some of the money to provide a weekly breakfast for homeless people.

JustPark has said churches in high demand areas, for example in town or city centres, or near landmarks such as transport hubs, stadiums or shopping centres, stand to gain the most.

Sam Mellor, from the company, told Premier's News Hour: "We've seen it's made huge differences, especially across the churches in London and increasingly across other urban centres in the UK.

"Churches are using [money] for everything from maintenance and basic heating bills, repairs. Another church in Kings Cross is actually repairing their ancient portico roof using the money made through Just Park.

"It's a huge, huge amount of money to put towards these local community support projects...

"[Churches have been] providing breakfast for the homeless, we've also seen foodbanks, night shelters, running youth groups, and running counselling for substance abusers."

Listen to Premier's Hannah Tooley speaking to Sam Mellor here:

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