UK government provides £15m to save crumbing church buildings

As the winter approaches, the UK government has earmarked millions of pounds to repair churches that might be affected by the severe weather conditions that come with the winter season.

The British government have designated £15m to save crumbing churches as the winter forecast to be one of the worst on record.

The fund is being run by the National Heritage Memorial Fund on behalf of the Department for Culture Media and Sport.

The £15 million fund, which opens to applications next Monday, December 15 is for urgent roof repairs to listed places of worship of all faiths. Grants of between £10,000 and £100,000 will be made towards ceilings, timbers and vaults as well as gutters, gullies, drains and soakaways.

It comes shortly after the addition of 805 parish churches to English Heritage's Heritage at Risk register.

The MP Sir Tony Baldry, who as second church estates commissioner represents the Church of England in Parliament, cited the importance of churches in England as one of the reasons why the government is set to spend millions into maintaining and rehabilitating crumbled church buildings.

"All parish churches need to have decent roofs and serviceable guttering. These are unromantic but essential. They are often expensive and it is very welcome news that the Government is providing £15 million for funding which can be applied for by churches which have roof repair needs. I think this is a very clear recognition on the part of the Government of the contribution that churches make to the life of England," MP Sir Tony Baldry said.

Bishop of Worcester, Dr John Inge, who is excited about the new development said that it will make a real and lasting difference to parishes that benefit from the grant. “A secure roof can last 100 years and will prevent gradual, and ultimately costly, decay of fabric. It will keep these important buildings warm and secure, allowing them to remain open and welcoming for both worship and wider community use. This fund will particularly provide relief for those parishes that are resource-poor, allowing them to focus their attention on growing their ministry and engaging with local people," Dr John Inge said.

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