Today, Monday 7th August, the Director of the Cathedrals and Church Buildings Division of the Church of England, posted the following information on grants for church buildings on the CofE Facebook page.
Grants for Church Buildings: Securing the Future
Church of England: Monday, 7 August 2017
Becky Clark, Director of the Cathedrals and Church Buildings Division of the Church of England
Our 16,000 parish churches represent 45% of England’s Grade I listed buildings, the very highest national indication of importance. Their physical presence in our landscapes is familiar and inspiring; whether it is the redbrick of a huge Victorian city centre gothic creation, built to serve the poor of its parish, or the idyllic tower of a medieval country church seen across the fields, it is hard not to be in awe of how much time and energy has been spent in creating, growing and looking after these places.
These buildings are not just artistic wonders, they are utilitarian structures built and used as common places for congregation, worship and service to others.
Today, the responsibility for maintaining these buildings falls to the Church and it is our duty to ensure that these buildings continue to serve the spiritual and social needs of their communities as they were always intended to. To this end, the role of the Cathedral and Church Buildings Division is to ensure churches remain open for their primary purpose as houses of mission and worship and to encourage them to use their space creatively for wider community, cultural and heritage benefits.
Our review of grants made in 2016 demonstrates that our work in this area can only happen thanks to the extraordinary generosity of our grant funding partners.
The Wolfson Foundation, the Pilgrim Trust and the Radcliffe Trust helped us to award nearly £600,000 in grants to parish churches for the restoration of church buildings and the conservation of a wide range of beautiful interiors and liturgical furnishings. It is not hyperbole to say that, without their funds, heritage would have been lost.
Last year also saw significant support from the Department of Culture Media and Sport in the form of a £20 million extension to the First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund. We are happy to report that all of this fund was allocated in 2016 enabling Anglican and Catholic cathedrals to secure the fabric of their buildings to act as focal points as we approach the centenary of the end of the Great War.
As the department within the Church of England entrusted with supporting the care of churches and cathedrals we continue to work closely with trusts and foundations to increase the much-needed support given to parish churches. Our grant programmes work alongside our strategic projects and capacity building work to make sure we are able to address the needs of our churches across the country.
Becky Clark, Director, Cathedrals and Church Buildings Division.
More information on sources of funding and support for church buildings can be found here: http://www.churchcare.co.uk/churches/funding-and-grants
The Facebook page includes photographs of the following examples:
Pennington, St Mark (Diocese of Winchester) £5,000 wall painting conservation grant Image courtesy of Peter Martindale Conservation Ltd
Borley (Diocese of Chelmsford) £5000 monument conservation grant Image courtesy of Simon Swann Associates Ltd