Is the future of our British churches under threat?
The village church is an iconic building found in most traditional British towns and villages. As specialists in ecclesiastical work, the team at West Country Tiling have worked throughout the South West of England on restoring and reroofing well over 100 churches since we started trading in 1993.
Up until recently, churches throughout the country have been able to apply for grants from different sources to cover their maintenance and repairs. This included funding from the National Lottery, via the English Heritage charity, a government funded grant, that was specifically for church roof repairs up to a value of £100,000, and in 2020 there was a grant aimed at repairing damage to churches caused by neglect during the initial stages of the COVID19 pandemic.
However, my worry is that the government are slowly withdrawing their financial support of these historic buildings and this will result in serious repercussions for the future of all our churches.
Churches throughout the UK have faced a number of challenges lately. With falling congregation numbers resulting in lower contributions and the National Lottery Heritage Fund now being open to applications from not just places of worship, but any national monument, heritage building or community archaeological project, it is becoming much harder for churches to secure funding.
Working on any church restoration is a privilege for our master craftsmen and we feel it is vital that these historic buildings are preserved for future generations.
Where to find financial support
It is important that on-going care and regular maintenance is carried out in order to stave off any building decay. Regular small scale works to preserve original features, can save you larger sums of money needed if things are left for too long.
The National Churches Trust is a charity organisation who are dedicated to supporting places of worship via a grant scheme for the repair, restoration and modernisation of churches. They offer four types of grants, including:
- Urgent structural repair of Cornerstones
- Essential Gateway repair
- Small Foundation Grants for Maintenance and investigative works
- Preventative Maintenance Micro-Grants in connection with Maintenance Booker
The Listed Places of Worship grant scheme, whereby the VAT paid on repairs to church buildings and roofs that cost over £1,000 can be reclaimed, this has just been extended until the 31 March 2022.
Viridor Credits, a recycling and waste management company based throughout the UK, offer funding for community, heritage and biodiversity projects through the Landfill Communities Fund. Projects must be within 10 miles of an active Viridor managed landfill site.
If you’re looking for grants that cover the conservation of an historic church interior, including fabric repairs, try The Church of England Conservation Grant.
Why Choose West Country Tiling
Our master roofers have extensive experience of working on many church restoration projects throughout the South West of England.
If you have an ecclesiastical roofing project based in the South West, please get in touch on 01373 462 224 or by emailing us on firstname.lastname@example.org