A £1.8 million Government-funded pilot programme to repair and enhance England’s listed places of worship was launched by the Heritage Minister, Michael Ellis, at St Ann’s Church in Manchester on Monday.
Churches, synagogues and mosques can apply for up to £10,000 each.
The programme comes after last year’s “Taylor Review: Sustainability of English Churches and Cathedrals”, which found that church buildings played a “vital role” in providing public services and a sense of identity to communities across the country.
The 18-month scheme will be run by Historic England and will test the recommendations made in the Taylor Review across the largely urban area of Greater Manchester. A second pilot will run in rural Suffolk.
A number of listed Anglican churches have been identified that make good candidates for repair funding to enhance community engagement. They include St Thomas, Halliwell, which is said to have great potential to work in partnership with the local school but is in need of modernisation work.
Dr David Walker, Bishop of Manchester said historic church buildings are worth investing in.
“Church buildings are an important and much-loved part of the heritage of Greater Manchester.
“Many are also well used to provide much-needed community facilities. We are delighted that Manchester has been chosen for this pilot to help fund urgent repairs in some of our listed buildings, and hope that the lessons learnt from the pilot will help enable our churches to go on serving their communities for generations to come.”
Listen to Bishop David speaking to Premier’s Tola Mbakwe here:
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Churches and other places of worship needing money to carry out repairs in Manchester and Suffolk are set to benefit from a big government funding scheme.