Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy


Building Faith in our Future

The Building Faith Campaign Messages:

The Building Faith Campaign has three simple messages:
• Churches matter and deserve support
• Without support they are at risk
• We are therefore seeking: better funding (50:50 partnership with the State in funding towards their repair, and a ‘level playing field’ in terms of access to other funding); and to strengthen the Church’s capacity to develop the use of its buildings for worship and mission to the wider community.


1. New Report: “Funding of Church Buildings: Next Steps”
2. Funding Opportunities: LPWGS and The Big Lottery
3. Further research: results from the Fabric Needs Survey 2005
4. Liaison with Government Departments
5. Liaison with Other Partners
6. Request for Good Examples
7. Two websites from the Church of England

Become a Building Faith Supporter:

Join our network of people, at national, regional and local level, within the Church and outside, to be kept informed of developments, approached directly about new initiatives and to tell us their stories about the achievements of churches in their communities, and spread the word themselves with their local and regional contacts

To register as a Building Faith Supporter and receive copies of the Building Faith in our Future e-bulletin, please contact: Becky Payne at:

Phone: 020 7898 1886
Address: Church House, Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3NZ
Download copies of the Building Faith in our Future report, latest Key Facts and other information about the Building Faith Campaign from:

1. “Funding of Church Buildings: Next Steps”

A new paper was produced in July 2006 on behalf of the Archbishop’s Council with assistance from The Church Commissoners and several dioceses. The suggestions in this paper build on the report ‘Building Faith in our Future’, the work of the All Party Parliamentary Church Buildings Group under the chairmanship of Frank Dobson MP and the recently launched English Heritage campaign ‘Inspired!’. This paper seeks to move the discussion forward by sketching the beginnings of a new financial settlement with both central and local government which reflects the value and potential of these community assets. It sets out the actual financial position of our churches more clearly than anything previously available and suggests some new ways of supporting the huge voluntary effort through public funds.

Our main focus, however, at this stage is to engage privately with the key players about our proposals rather than seeking to generate lots of publicity.

2. Funding Opportunities: The Listed Places of Worship Grants Scheme, The Big Lottery and ViRSA

Under the Listed Places of Worship Grants Scheme, over £49 million has now been awarded in grants up to the end of August 2006 throughout the United Kingdom. Over £39 million of this was paid to listed places of worship in England, an estimated 88% of them Anglican churches. Since 22nd March 2006, this Scheme now covers 100% of VAT costs incurred on professional fees and include fixtures and fittings for listed places of worship, such as bells, pews, clocks and organs. For further details go to:

Since it began in November 2005, the Memorial Grant Scheme has paid out nearly £86,000 for the construction, renovation, and maintenance of memorials in England. For further details go to:

Please encourage your contacts to apply.

In July, the Big Lottery Fund launched its Community Buildings Programme which will make £50 million available over three years to improve, replace or introduce a building into a community that provides services and activities to meet the needs of a range of people. Faith based community organisations and church-based faith organisations are both included as eligible to apply. Guidance notes and application forms are available at:

ViRSA, the Village Retail Services Association in partnership with the Esmee Fairbarin Foundation and Co-operative and Community Finance have just launched the The Village CORE Programme which will provide £2million of start-up funding for new community-owned shops over the next three years. Church buildings can provide suitable sites for shops as well as being eligible to apply themselves. For more information go to:

3. Further research

As part of the English Heritage launch of their ‘Inspired!’ campaign in May 2006, the key findings of the Church Fabric Needs Survey 2005 were published. English Heritage in collaboration with the Cathedral and Church Buildings Division revisited the same sample of 140 churches in five areas of the country which were originally studied in 1994-5. Tthe aim was to identify the cost of repairs carried out over a further ten years up to 2004, examine what has been done and what still needs to be done and hopefully determine the reasons for those repair and maintenance choices. Research revealed that if all the necessary repairs to England’s listed places of worship were properly assessed the estimated cost would be £925 million over the next five years, or £185 million each year. For a full summary of the results go to
where you will also find full details of the ‘Inspired!’ campaign, and the solutions proposed by English Heritage. They suggest ways that you can become involved including writing to MPs setting out your stories of successes and well as the difficulties you have encountered.
These figures are not too different from those which came out of the answers to the 2003 Parochial Returns questionnaire on spend by parishes on repairs to their churches and also repairs still outstanding. In 2003, the overall estimated cost of major repairs still required to our 16,196 church buildings in England, once all works undertaken in the year had been taken into account, was £378m. Further work on these figures gives us a figure of £178m per year. Please do come back to us if you would like to know more.

Church of England churches along with other faith groups make a huge contribution to social action in their local communities. New surveys mapping the size and range of this contribution continue to be published. The majority of these surveys have been undertaken by the regional faith network supported by their regional development agency. Here is an up to date table (copy attached) which summarises those reports which we know about. Please let us know if you come across others.

4. Liaison with Government Departments

1. In July 2006, the House of Commons Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport published its report on its inquiry into how we protect our heritage. As well as submitting detailed written evidence, oral evidence was given to the Committee by the Church Heritage Forum by the Rev’d Canon Michael Ainsworth, of the Council for the Care of Churches and Ms Paula Griffiths, Lead Officer, Church Heritage Forum; by the Association of English Cathedrals by the Very Rev’d David Brindley, Secretary and Treasurer, and the Very Rev’d Colin Slee, Executive Committee Member; and Mr Trevor Cooper, Chairman of the Council of the Ecclesiological Society. The report entitled ‘Protecting and Preserving our Heritage’ includes a whole section on Places of Worship which has taken on board all the points made in the evidence. The Committee’s conclusion on Places of Worship is as follows:

Faith groups have responsibilities: they should be approaching parish councils for support and showing imagination in how buildings could be used. We recommend that each denomination should fund small local teams to visit each place of worship perhaps once a year in order to carry out basic survey and maintenance services; individual dioceses might fund such teams for Church of England buildings. There will always, however, be a need for major repairs. Existing funding through English Heritage is quite inadequate, and the phasing of repairs which results is driving up their cost significantly. If dioceses are prepared to commit to providing basic maintenance services, then we recommend that in return English Heritage should be resourced to provide a level of grant funding for major repairs to both cathedrals and other places of worship equivalent in real terms to that provided until only five or ten years ago. If repair projects can be completed more quickly, more efficient use will be made of public funds.

To read the whole report go to

DCMS are still working on the Heritage Protection Review White Paper.

2. The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is continuing to update and further develop its information website for rural community buildings. Go to:

Two reports are due to be published early this Autumn both commissioned by DEFRA:

‘Faith in Rural Communities: contributions of Social Capital to Community Vibrancy’ and ‘Funding for Rural Community Buildings’ both of which should provide useful contextual information for those responsible for rural places of worship.

In July, the preliminary meeting of the Rural Community Buildings Network took place. Initiated and facilitated by DEFRA, it brought together representatives from many organisations which are responsible for rural community buildings eg:
National Association of Local Councils
Society of Local Council Clerks
National Village Halls Forum
Cathedral and Church Buildings Division, Church of England
Girl Guiding UK
Royal British Legion
with apologies from the Women’s Institute, The Scout Association, St John’s Ambulance, Red Cross. In addition, the Local Government Association is to be invited to join the forum.

The aims of the Forum are to:

• improve communications between member organisations on matters that affect rural community buildings
• share information and best practice
• provide a unified voice to influence central and local government policies, consultations and plans
• working towards simplifying access to information and services

If you would like more information or have issues you would like raised at the Forum, please contact Becky Payne.

5. Liaison with Other Partners

In June, the Society for the Preservation of Ancient Buildings was awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £645,000 to embark on a unique and ambitious project to provide training for people of all faith groups in England and Wales to help them to care for their listed places of worship. The £850,000 scheme has also won the support of English Heritage, which has provided £75,000, with the remainder match-funded by SPAB and other partners. SPAB will run 30 tailor-made courses each year, training over 6,000 volunteers to look after a variety of these buildings in both England and Wales. One of the key aspects of the scheme is that training will be available to any faith group using a listed building for its worship. Along with protecting significant historic structures, the project will also encourage more people to become actively involved in their local community’s heritage. On SPAB’s new courses volunteers will learn about:
• The historic significance of places of worship
• Managing their building
• Traditional materials
• Basic principles of research and interpretation
• Spotting potential problems
• What they can practically do themselves and when to call in a professional
Volunteers will also find out more about maintenance and decay, Health and Safety, legislative issues, managing relationships with professional advisors and builders, planning ahead and monitoring. Importantly the courses will provide opportunities for networking (important for isolated wardens) and enable participants to adapt English Heritage maintenance plans for their own buildings with expert advice to hand.
For more information, go to

The Churches Tourism Association is holding its annual national convention from 20 – 22 November. This year the theme is “Experiencing Sacred Britain” which will be explored by presenting, exhibiting and debating ideas, initiatives, research and practical experiences that help to inform overall policy and that can be further developed into local operational activity in churches and at other sacred sites nationwide in order to provide an ever more inviting and memorable welcome for all tourism visitors. A further key focus of the event is the formal launch of the newly developed National Marketing Strategy for Church Tourism, ‘Experience Sacred Britain’ – currently under development with Visit Britain and a range of church and civic groups. This convention should be of interest to both church tourism practitioners both of regional projects and individual churches and also representatives of the tourism industry who want to help develop the potential of these buildings for tourism.
If you are interested please go to:
or contact: CTA Annual Convention 2006, The Churches Conservation Trust
1 West Smithfield, London EC1A 9EE

Since February of this year, the Cathedral and Church Buildings Division has held a series of meetings with the Rural Division of the Post Office Ltd. The Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church have recently been invited to join in this conversation. In March, the Post Office published a report setting out innovative ways of providing its services in rural areas. It is very interested in using churches as possible sites for delivering some of these services and several different models are being considered. In developing this partnership, the Post Office would now like to run 2 or 3 pilots using simplest model so that together we can test out procedures and good working practice. We are working together to identify possible churches which meet all the relevant criteria. Out of this project, we are intending to produce draft national guidelines covering requirements and procedures of both the Church and the Post Office which will make it much simpler for such initiatives to happen in the future.

6. Good Examples Please!

Remember to keep sending us your stories of innovative and imaginative projects where churches are enhancing the community uses of their buildings, whether by well-designed physical adaptation of the church building and/or outreach into the wider community. We would greatly welcome local examples for possible inclusion on the the Churchcare website. These can include examples from any of the areas covered in Building Faith in our Future (cultural activities, voluntary and community activities, in rural and urban areas, education, tourism as well as innovative funding ideas). Please send your stories to Becky Payne along with a contact name for the project and/or a website link as soon as you can.

7. Two websites from the Church of England

Since its launch on November 2005, we have been working on the website directory of artists and craftspeople who are available for commission by churches and cathedrals for new art of all kinds from stained glass to candlesticks. Details of nearly 70 artists and crafts people and pictures of their work can now be viewed on .

On 5th June 2006, the Church of England marked World Environment Day by taking a further step forward in the campaign to ‘green’ the Church. All parish churches are being invited to carry out an audit of current energy uses so that a benchmark can be established. Once the size of the current ‘carbon footprint’ of the Church has been assessed, the campaign will roll out initiatives to shrink that footprint. This initiative is supported by a new practical easy to use website

8. And finally
The Parish Church is now a National Icon. ICONS– a Portrait of England, the interactive website launched by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in January this year, has ranked the parish church alongside nineteen other national institutions including fish and chips, the pint of beer, York Minster, Sherlock Holmes and the mini in response to public votes. Visit the above website and vote.

Cathedral and Church Buildings Division


• A 2005 survey showed that 86% of the population had visited a church building or place of worship in the previous twelve months, for reasons ranging from participating in worship to attending concerts or simply wanting a quiet space. This confirmed the levels recorded in 2003.
• The 2005 survey showed that 38% of the population think the central taxation, local taxation, the National Lottery or English Heritage are primarily responsible for funding maintenance of church buildings. Asked who should be primarily responsible, the respondents naming those four sources rose to 46%. (ORB 2005)
• 45% of the country’s Grade I listed buildings are maintained by the Church of England. These churches and cathedrals are largely supported by the efforts and financial support of local communities. Often, they are the focus of community life and service.
• In total, some 12,200 of the Church of England’s 16,200 buildings are listed by the government as being of special architectural or historic interest.
• Three cathedrals are World Heritage Sites: Durham Castle and Cathedral, Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine’s Abbey & St Martin’s Church, and Westminster Abbey and St Margaret’s Church.
• Every year, around 12.5 million people visit Church of England cathedrals, including 300,000 pupils on school visits. Three of England’s top five historic ‘visitor attractions’ are York Minister, Canterbury Cathedral and Westminster Abbey.
• In 2003, Church of England parishes spent nearly £101 million on major church repairs. In answer to a question included as part of the annual Parish Returns, returns from parishes themselves indicated that the repairs still needed to their churches came to a minimum of £378 million of which £328 million (87%) was for listed churches. In the same year, the major sources of funding came to less than 40%. Therefore 60% was raised by local fund-raising.
English Heritage grants have effectively remained static since 1995. Had English Heritage been able to maintain its contribution to church repairs in real terms at its highest level of 1995 (when £14m was offered in grant), it would now be offering £19.5m rather than its current average contribution of £10 million per annum.

• Church of England churches along with other faith groups make a huge contribution to social action in their local communities. Within all the nine English Regions, surveys have been carried out to map the size and range of this contribution. A 2005 study of the economic impact of faith communities produced on behalf of the Northwest Regional Development Agency estimated that faith communities in the
Northwest generate £94.9 million. This is made up of the estimated economic value of 45,667 faith volunteers contributing c.8.1 million hours of social and health care and working in regeneration initiatives (equivalent to 4,815 FTE jobs) applying a wage rate of £7.50 per hour, premises made available by faith groups for use of local community groups, and day visitor expenditure generated by faith tourism which also supported 215 FTE jobs.

• Church buildings in particular are a valuable resource to their communities. The Northwest 2005 study estimated that the 1,385 premises made available to local communities by faith communities in the Northwest generated £811,472 per annum. A 2004 survey carried out in Brighton and Hove found that out of the 55 community buildings identified by the survey as essential to the provision of over 300 community projects and services offered by faith communities, 47 were church buildings and halls provided by the churches themselves.

• A survey commissioned by the Association of English Cathedrals and English Heritage found that visitors to cathedrals generate £91million in spend per annum and directly support 2600 jobs. This increases to £150 million in spend in the local economies within which they are located if it includes their procurement spend, their impact on visitor spend and associated multiplier effects. From 2005 to 2007/8 they will receive only £1 million per annum in repair grants – but currently spend £11 million annually on repairs and maintenance.

• Although, there has not yet been any research to determine the benefits to local economies of visitors to parish churches, we are seeing that initiatives set up to promote church tourism do have a positive effect on numbers of visitors. The North Yorkshire Church Tourism initiative ran for three years and in that time increased the number of annual visitors to the 285 participating places of worship by 120%. Total number of visitors recorded for the year 2004/5 was 203,952.

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