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Tips for a kitchen in a listed building

A listed building doesn’t mean you have to limit your plans. Here are some tips for creating your ideal kitchen.

Just because your church is a listed building doesn’t mean you can’t renovate your kitchen – or add one if you don’t have one. You join 300,000 other buildings facing the same issue. There are ways to still install the semi-commercial kitchen you need, without disrupting the historical beauty and character of your building. We have broken down some tips to make your renovation a smooth process.


As your church is listed, part of it will be of historical significance and shouldn’t be altered. Architects spend their careers engineering renovations that both meet their clients’ needs and complement the surroundings. They will be able to guide you through any structural installations, like if you need pipework or extractor fans.

There may be elements of your kitchen that you can’t wait to be rid of – like a fireplace, stone flags, cast-iron ranges, and old floor tiles. However, it is not ideal to do this. Your focus should be on preserving these pieces of history while still meeting the needs of a modern congregation. Architects will be able to advise you on how to incorporate your new semi-commercial kitchen in and around these historically important items.


Did you know that ecclesiastical buildings that are used as places of worship are exempt from the requirements of the listed building? However, they must be used by the following denominations to be counted:

  • the Church of England
  • the Church in Wales
  • the Roman Catholic Church
  • the Methodist Church
  • the Baptist Union of Great Britain
  • the Baptist Union of Wales
  • the United Reformed Church

If your church is part of one of these denominations, then you don’t need consent to renovate, extend, or demolish parts of your building, no matter the Grade listing. This does not exempt you from the requirements of planning permission, so it is a good practice to always check with your local authority before signing off and approving any work.

The golden rule with the exemption is to always ensure your church will be used for ecclesiastical purposes first and foremost.


How will you use your kitchen? Will it be a place for cooking and heating, or are you just creating a friendly space to make coffee? If it’s the latter, then consider a cold kitchen. This is a kitchen without an oven. This may seem strange, but by forgoing an oven, you’re cutting out major gas or electrical work to connect it to power, as well as the need for extraction.

Plus, any major installation work needs to be reversible as well as easily accessible. This is because your wiring needs to be regularly maintained for preservation purposes to avoid any major construction that could damage the building. So, if you don’t need it then the ideal route is to not install it. Don’t fret – you can still meet the needs of your congregation without the need for major work on your listed building.

Our kitchen experts have vast experience installing semi-commercial kitchens that fit your needs, while not disturbing the historical importance of your listed building. They can always help you get the most out of your kitchen – no matter the grade of your building. Speak to them on 0844 809 9186 to get started, or send an email to [email protected].

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