David J. Farley of Plympton, Plymouth, United Kingdom

David J. Farley of Plympton, Plymouth, United Kingdom

Friday, August 03, 2007

Funding for historic places of worship

I recently signed an online petition to our Prime Minister calling upon the government to increase funding to help preserve our ancient churches. The petition read as follows:-

"We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to arrange for the cost of repairs to C of E church buildings to be reimbursed to help preserve our archeological & historic heritage for the future."

Details of Petition:

"Churches are a valuable part of our heritage and a major tourist attraction, yet the funding of repairs is left to the parish in which the building is situated. Thus the cost of maintaining a national asset is left to the minority. This is grossly unfair and should be rectified."

The Prime Minister has now responded to the petition and here is his response:-

The Government is committed to the preservation of our historic churches and faith buildings, in view of their contribution to the heritage of this country and the vital community services often undertaken by those associated with churches and faith groups. There is a substantial package of support, both directly, and through sponsored bodies and Lottery schemes which averages around £60 million each year.

Over 8,500 faith buildings have benefited under the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme, which has made grants totalling over £54 million since 2001. The scheme was extended in the 2006 Budget to cover further elements of expenditure on church repairs, including professional fees and repairs to some fixtures and fittings. One thousand buildings have benefited from grants made under the joint English Heritage/Heritage Lottery Fund repair scheme, which has this year paid out nearly £25 million. The Churches Conservation Trust also cares for 340 churches that are no longer required for worship, and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport funds the Trust with £3 million each year.

Any decisions on the level and nature of future Government funding for church buildings will need to be taken as part of the ongoing Comprehensive Spending Review, and Government spending plans for the 2008 to 2011 period will be made public later in the year.

1 comment:

Andrew Teather said...

Quite right too! As I have intimated before, most priests are just that, not curators and fundraisers. People often moan that clergy dont do enough pastoral work, but also moan if the building falls down!