Scheme to fund listed building repairs - could your church benefit?

Churches in the Diocese of Chester could benefit from a Government-funded pilot programme to repair and enhance England’s listed places of worship.

The £1.8 million scheme, to be managed by Historic England, will see expert advisers work with local volunteers from all faiths and denominations to manage and maintain eligible buildings and explore options for their wider use to serve communities and strengthen local relationships.

The 18-month-long pilot scheme will run in Suffolk and Greater Manchester to test the implementation of recommendations made in last year’s Taylor Review: Sustainability of English Churches and Cathedrals.

The review concluded that church buildings play a “vital role” in providing public services and a sense of identity to communities across the country and that they should be opened up to help ensure the sites have a more sustainable future.

The pilot programme recognises that any faith group caring for a listed building faces special challenges and that many congregations are keen to share good ideas, develop skills and increase the number of people who can help to ensure listed places of worship are fit to serve their communities.

Speaking before the event, Heritage Minister Michael Ellis said: “Historic faith buildings are a key part of our rich heritage and it is important they are protected.

“Every year thousands of volunteers dedicate a huge amount of time to their upkeep, but many need high levels of maintenance and repair. Through these pilots in Manchester and Suffolk, we will unlock the wider community potential of listed places of worship and provide practical guidance to help preserve these much-loved buildings.”

Diocesan Secretary to the Diocese of Chester, George Colville, attended the launch in Manchester and said it was good news. He said: “This pilot scheme, which will feature advice, training and a small grant scheme for minor repairs up to £10,000, is good news and will help us to take care of our listed church buildings. I’m delighted that the funding will be available to those parishes in the Diocese of Chester that lie within Greater Manchester and I would urge those parishes to make the most of this opportunity.”

Details of how churches can apply to receive funding are not yet available. Further information will be communicated out to churches in due course. 

More information from English Heritage can be found here



Page last updated: Thursday 6th September 2018 7:49 AM
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