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£7million to help repair England's historic places of worship

English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund announce grants to help restore Grade II listed places of worship

English Heritage (EH) and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) have today (Monday 24 May 2010) announced funding of £7million to help restore 68 historic Grade II listed places of worship in England. Places of worship from a range of faiths and denominations are set to benefit from the organisations’ joint Repair Grants for Places of Worship programme.

The buildings set to benefit include the Memorial Community Church, a Grade II listed Baptist Church in Newham, East London; the Church of the Sacred Heart, a Grade II listed Roman Catholic Church in Portsmouth; and the Church of St Peter and St Paul in Lincolnshire.


In total this year, £22.7million of funding has been made available to 222 of England’s Grade I, II* and II listed places of worship.

Dr Simon Thurley, Chief Executive of English Heritage, said, “In this country we are fortunate enough to have some of the most beautiful and historic places of worship in the world. 

“Since the Repair Grants for Places of Worship scheme began in 2002, more than £179m in essential repair grants has been awarded to more than 1,900 projects, to help repair, renovate and restore historic places of worship around England.  It is the largest single funding source for work of this kind and we are delighted to be able to support local communities and congregations who are doing all they can to secure a future for these treasured buildings.”

Carole Souter, Chief Executive of HLF, said: "Churches are often the lifeblood of the communities they serve and an important hub for local activities.  Without continued investment for essential maintenance and repair work, these precious buildings would be less likely to survive or be fit for purpose. The Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage have long been working together to protect places of worship and today’s announcement of £7million will make a huge difference to the future of 68 beautiful buildings."

Julia Brocklehurst, Warden at the Church of St Peter and St Paul, said: “We welcome the grant from English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund with open arms. The church community has been trying to raise money for repairs over the last 10 years and the announcement of the grant today is a great boost for us.

“The roof in particular is in bad shape, and when it rains the congregation plays musical chairs to avoid the drops of water. But now with this grant we can extend the important services that we provide for the community."