There are many reasons for conserving old buildings, and many different mechanisms. Ultimately, the systems which have arisen over the last the last two centuries have all relied more or less on political justifications that find their way back to notions of community. This chapter looks at the way one institution, the Church of England, used medieval parish churches to articulate ideas of community at the local level. I offer these observations in the context of a new community agenda which is shaping the environmental thinking here in England and across our political culture more generally.