News, Funding and Training


Cytûn’s new Policy Bulletin for August/Sept can be found here in Welsh and English

Good News’: new competition launches for churches Share your Good News for a chance to win £1,500 for your church plus £6,000 if you win the national prize.  Run by Ecclesiastical, they are looking for bright ideas and success stories, community heroes and ingenuity in the face of all the challenges caused by the last year of  COVID-19. All entries must be submitted by the closing date 17 September 2021. Link here 

The National Churches Trust website now has a section within its Professional Trades Directory  This is for prospective professionals wanting to work with churches. While this is not in any way a quality assurance scheme, it may give churches a new choice of professionals in their area, and help to get some new blood into the system. District Property Secretaries or the Connexional Conservation Officer should of course give advice as to the suitability of any such professional for the role of Quinquennial Inspectors. Link to the Directory here.  

A report commissioned by the Faith & Society APPG has found that partnerships between faith groups and local authorities have deepened during the pandemic, with an increased recognition of the role places of worship play in delivering community projects that meet local need.

From listening services to food deliveries– churches step up support to local communities during pandemic More than 4,000 Church of England parishes are estimated to have stepped up their support to local communities in the face of rising levels of poverty, loneliness and isolation during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to new research published today. This is based on responses of 1023 Church of England clergy who completed the online Church in Action survey in October and November 2020, with support from the Church of England’s Research and Statistics team. Report here.

The Church of England’s Environment programme Free workshops on finding the best heating and lighting solutions for your church This is part of a series of webinars and events designed to support and equip churches to reach the ambitious ‘net zero carbon ‘emissions target. Events are available to watch after they have been presented online, so there is an opportunity to catch up on an interesting topic if you can’t attend the live session. 

Culture Recovery Fund - The Government has now announced the 2,700 arts, culture, heritage organisations and independent cinemas that have been offered grants and loans through the second round of the Culture Recovery Fund. Over £44million has been awarded to 476 heritage organisations in this second round of the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage. Congratulations to all those who have received funding, including a number of Methodist Churches.  Further details and a full list of all those awarded in this round can be found here, and a list of decisions specific to the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage can be found here

Heritage Recovery Plan - The HEF (Historic Environment Forum) Covid Task Group has worked closely with Historic England to compile a Heritage Recovery Plan around the four themes of re-opening, resilience, skills and return to growth with actions for Government and for the sector. The Task Group is now working with the members of the Historic Environment Forum and the wider heritage sector to take forward the actions set out in the Plan.

Community Businesses in Places of Worship - The Plunkett Foundation, funded by Allchurches Trust, is providing specialist advice and funds to encourage churches to explore the benefits of supporting community businesses and helping their wider communities to thrive. From shops and cafes to post offices and farmers markets – community businesses provide vital services that support the wider local community. Examples can be found here

The Search is on for the 2021 Sustainable Project of the Year The National Lottery Fund is sponsoring a sustainability award for the second year at the 2021 Museums and Heritage Awards. This award will be made to an outstanding environmentally sustainable project or exhibition which can demonstrate best practice in your approach to managing environmental impacts, for example; energy efficiency measures, recycling and reuse, sustainable procurement, and green visitor travel planning and encouragement. Details here

Experiencing Sacred Wales This funded project led by ExploreChurches in partnership with Visit Wales, the Church in Wales, Addoldai Cymru, Friends of Friendless Churches and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales and is nearly at an end. You can find all about the wonderful sacred heritage of Wales, particularly those along the Wales Way here 

Heritage Digital The key resources and webinars and a range of case studies are now accessible through the project portal and includes:

*A guide to growing and engaging audiences on line

*How digital skills can transform the heritage sector

*Getting started with data

* Copyright and suppliers: how to get the rights you need in new digital content. You do need to register

News on Pew Adaptation What to do about pews? Remove them? Adapt them? Love them?

This is about a church where the pews have become movable assets. It’s Terrington St Clement parish church in Norfolk where the Victorian pews are now on mobile metal frames. read more here.

House of Good Report from the National Churches Trust Our ground-breaking report demonstrates that the total economic and social value that church buildings generate in the UK is at least £12.4 billion per year which averages around £300,000 per church. That is roughly equal to the total NHS spending on mental health in England in 2018. We believe that these findings are remarkable. They show that our churches are not just Houses of God. They are also Houses of Good – good that we risk losing if church buildings are not kept in good repair, and may never be able to replace. Please find the report here

Taylor Pilot Review report published on 3 October 2020. Overall, the evidence demonstrates the potential effectiveness of the main findings of the Taylor Review – Fabric Support Officers, Community Development Advisers and the Minor Repairs Fund – and suggests that there is merit in considering further how the elements of the pilot as described in this evaluation report can be taken forward.

The Taylor Review Pilot Team have put together some advisory documents and templates based on what they learnt from working closely with people looking after listed places of worship. These can be assessed along with the Maintenance Checklist trialed during the pilot here 

Heritage and Diversity The Heritage Alliance is working on a new report and project on ‘Diversity and Inclusion and the Heritage Sector’. It will look at the challenges faced by the heritage sector in fostering inclusive practices, as well as the solutions adopted by each organisation, best practices and free resources available online.  If you have an interesting perspective or case study you would like to share, please contact Iona.

Roving Reporter from the Heritage Alliance - Journey towards net zero. See the article here

Roving Reporter from the Heritage Alliance - Engaging with Virtual Open Days. See the article here

FaithAction: Community Cohesion Regional Roundtables The current crisis has provided an excellent opportunity for faith groups and local authorities to work together to tackle the problems and issues raised by our nationwide lockdown at a local level. FaithAction are organising Regional Roundtables to talk about how faith groups and local authorities have been working together in the regions. Find out about the dates for your Region. Details here

Building Dementia Friendly Churches The Dementia Friendly Church programme, a collaboration between Stafford University and the Anglican Diocese of Lichfield, have released a 16-minute film highlighting the experiences of those that have benefitted from the programme. Details here

Faith Tourism Wales A symposium had been planned on Spiritual Tourism in Wales for April 2020 at the University of South Wales. The aim was to enable participants to learn about the various spiritual / faith tourism / pilgrimage initiatives under way or being planned and to draw up an action plan for making more of the potential for spiritual tourism in Wales. It had to be postponed due to Covid-19. A website is now being set up where ideas can be shared and to encourage joint working. Details here

The Heritage Alliance’s report on Heritage, Health and Wellbeing  Was published on 28th September 2020. It explores the positive impact heritage can have on individual and community wellbeing. While the case for arts and culture supporting wellbeing is well developed, there is comparatively less understanding of the power of heritage to help people to “feel good”.  The report examines the existing work in this space, before showcasing more than 30 case studies. These case studies cover the breadth of the work in our sector, from yoga in a historic house to a group of disabled adults empowered to put on a club night at Alexandra Palace.  Details here 

Welsh churches and chapels under threat It has been predicted that Wales could lose up to 70 per cent of its places of worship in the next 20 years. The report published by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Buildings in Wales and is available here

Plunkett Foundation You might be interested to read the recent report published by the Plunkett Foundation into community shops and pubs 'A Better form of Business' which you can find here


The Church of England’s Environment programme The CofE is holding a series of webinars and events designed to support and equip churches to reach the ambitious ‘net zero' carbon emissions target. March topics include

  • The Effective Management of Church Lighting,
  • Toward Net Zero Church Heating – to replace or not replace?
  • Solar Panels for churches
  • and much more.

Grant Sources and Funding Information for Historic Places of Worship

National Lottery Grants for Heritage: the NLHF has reopened for project funding  The funding will support a broad range of heritage projects and activities, such as industrial sites, castles and historic places of worship, to the stories and memories of communities, and through to public parks, natural landscapes and native wildlife. There are new strategic priorities and the process will prioritise projects that contribute to the national recovery from Coronavirus by ‘boosting the local economy, encouraging skills development and job creation, supporting wellbeing, creating better places to live, work and visit or improving the resilience of organisations working in heritage. Applications for grants from £3,000 to £5 million are now welcome. Capital works and repair and conservation works are eligible. 

The Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme to be renewed The Government has announced that the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme will be renewed this year, operating on the same terms as previously. We are assuming this means it is now extended until 31st  March 2022. This is the scheme that allows listed places of worship to claim a sum equal to VAT which has been paid on repairs and alterations. It was due to cease running at the end of this financial year. The continuation of this level of Government support is very good news indeed. 

B&Q Foundation - B&Q Foundation provides grants to registered charities who support people experiencing poor quality housing and homelessness or are looking for help with a project to improve homes and community spaces. Details here

Coronavirus Funding for Historic Places of Worship:

COVID-19 funding Funding available for charities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Details here 

Grantsonline Please also find more funds listed here

Methodist Insurance's List of Emergency Grant Funders. Details here.

Allchurches Trust launches new grant programme, Hope Beyond.

Aimed at enabling churches and Christian charities to meet changing need within their communities as the longer-term impact of Covid-19 becomes clearer. In developing this programme, they carried out an online consultation to better understand what their beneficiaries felt the key needs of people of all ages in their communities would be as a direct result of the Coronavirus pandemic. You can find more about the grants programme and the research here

The National Lottery Community Fund National Lottery Awards for All

Offers funding from £300 to £10,000 to support what matters to people and communities. They're looking to fund COVID-19 projects and will prioritise: organisations supporting people who are at high risk from COVID-19. Places of worship are eligible. Details are here  

Advice for grant holders If you have concerns about grants you hold, then the overall advice is to contact the funding body.

Key links are:   

National Churches Trust 

Esmee Fairburn 

Garfield Weston 

ChurchCare grants 

Allchurches Trust 

National Lottery Heritage Fund 

The Heritage Alliance’s Funding Hub The Heritage Alliance has created a separate Funding Hub listing potential sources of funding for heritage organisations during the Coronavirus crisis. Details here

Coronavirus Response – Funding Opportunities for Charities National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) have compiled a list of funding opportunities and news relating to coronavirus. Find details here

Free searchable database of Coronavirus funders The Charity Excellence website has a new, free database of funders supporting charities during the crisis. Details here

Other Funding information:

Places of Worship Protective Security Fund still open for applications

The Scheme can include more secure gates, locks, alarms and CCTV in order to deter and prevent hate crime attacks. Now in its fifth year, the Home Office is providing a further £3.2 million. The deadline is 9th August 2020 to make an application.  On the 4th July, in response to an MP’s questions, the Minister, Kit Malthouse, reported that ‘In the first three years of the Places of Worship Protective Security Scheme (2016-2019), £800,000 wais available each year. In the fourth year (2019-2020) this was doubled to £1.6 million. All faiths, apart from the Jewish faith (who have access to a separate funding scheme), are eligible to apply for funding under this scheme. Over the last four years, we have allocated £1,643,732 to mosques, £869,858 to churches, £210,989 to temples, and £676,115 to gurdwaras’.

Other Grant Sources

Community buildings, places of worship and faith groups - a guide for constituents (National Assembly for Wales). This funding guide outlines and signposts sources of financial assistance available to organisations and groups for the construction, development and maintenance of community buildings and places of worship. This guide also includes sources of financial assistance available for faith groups in Wales.

Historic Environment Scotland - Grants and Funding - Explore the wide range of grants and funding available to projects that share Historic Environment Scotland's aims to protect and promote the historic environment of Scotland. 

The Heritage Funding Directory - Managed by The Heritage Alliance and the Architectural Heritage Fund, the Heritage Funding Directory is a free, easy-to-use guide to financial and other support for anyone undertaking UK related heritage projects. 

The National Churches Trust - The National Churches Trust now offer three types of grant - Cornerstone, Gateway and Foundation Grants for Maintenance. Full details can be found by going to the individual grant programme pages accessed via the above link, which also includes important information about deadline dates. The Trust also provides Preventative Maintenance Micro-Grants for churches towards the cost of building maintenance services.

Allchurches Trust - The Trust support the repair, restoration and re-ordering of churches and cathedrals of many denominations, especially where these changes support wider community use and help those in need. They give grants to churches and charities running projects aimed at tackling homelessness, poverty and loneliness, and many other social issues.

Faith in Maintenance - In 2005 the Methodist Property Office and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) developed a training course for volunteers responsible for historic chapels. The scheme, entitled Faith in Maintenance, is a unique project that offers training and support to the thousands of volunteers from all faith groups who help to care for historic buildings. It aims to give these volunteers training in recognising potential problems, understanding the use of traditional materials and construction and tackling common maintenance problems, while at the same time encouraging more people to become actively involved in their local community's heritage and to appreciate the importance of historic places of worship. The courses, which are free to attend, offer a full day of training including practical sessions and professional speakers and access to a dedicated telephone advice service. 

You can find out more on the Society's website:


Listed Buildings 

How do I make changes to a listed building? How do I apply for listed building approval?

What is the Ecclesiastical Exemption?

What is the Listed Buildings Advisory Committee?

Frequently Asked Questions

Maintenance and Repairs - Listed Places of Worship

Listed Building Guidance Notes


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