During the pandemic, places of worship have demonstrated their enormous value to the nation in a variety of ways. However, as fundraising opportunities have been lost and key grant schemes suspended, it has been difficult to keep on top of vital maintenance and repairs.
We are, therefore, delighted to hear of the success that some churches have had with applications to the Headley Trust and Historic England.
The Headley Trust consider applications by diocese on a rotational basis, twice a year. Decisions this year for Ely were delayed from July to October due to Covid-19. We have just received news that a total of £35,250 has been shared between 11 churches in this Diocese helping to make urgent repairs and install much-needed facilities. Grants received by individual churches ranged from £1,750 to £4,500.
Historic England’s Covid-19 Emergency Heritage at Risk Fund also suffered delays due to the sheer number of eligible applications. PCCs could apply for a total grant of £25,000 towards a project costing no more than £30,000. Applications have been phased, so decisions are being announced gradually over the next few months. Stanground St John the Baptist, one of the first to be notified, has received the full grant amount in order replace copper and lead that was stolen from the roof in January this year.
In other grant news, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, which was due to return in 2021, has just announced that it will begin a phased reopening of project funding on the 25th November, starting with grants under £100,000. As yet there are very few details and it is uncertain if the built heritage will be supported as it was in previous schemes. More can be read here - https://www.heritagefund.org.uk/blogs/were-backing-heritage-sector-adapt-and-thrive-again
The advice for now is to keep doing what you can with the resources available, and please get in touch with us, the Church Buildings Team, if you need any advice or support. Contact us here - https://www.elydiocese.org/parish-support/church-buildings/contact-the-team/
St Andrew's, Northwold (below) has received a grant from the Headley Trust for urgent window restoration