The Church of England has welcomed the award of grants from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England for grants amounting to £10.7m to 66 churches and cathedrals across the country.
A total of 16 cathedrals and 50 parish churches will receive grants under the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage, a scheme designed to support organisations in England from across the heritage ecosystem that were financially viable prior to COVID-19 and who are now at risk of failure.
The programme has today announced grants of between £10,000 and £1million, with all funding awarded to be spent by the end of the financial year. Churches receiving grants have been made aware.
The grants will support churches and cathedrals, which would normally welcome millions of visitors each year, in ensuring organisational viability, covering costs incurred by Covid-19, and allowing for business planning and job retention.
The Church of England is also delighted to have been successful in its application to the Historic England-administered Grants for Programmes of Major Works, also part of the overall Culture Recovery Fund.
This fund, which awards money to national organisations responsible for a nationally-significant portfolio of highly listed historic buildings, will be allocated by the Council to cathedrals and major churches for capital works that are vital to keeping the buildings safe and open to the public, ensuring jobs for specialist builders, craftspeople, architects, conservators and many others. Details of the exact amount and allocation of this money will be announced as soon as possible.
Becky Clark, the Church of England's Director of Cathedrals and Church buildings said:
“The Church of England is enormously grateful for the investment the government, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England is making into our cathedrals and churches. The 16,000 church buildings we care for are witnesses to all parts of the history of England and usually tell those stories to more than 10 million a people a year who come through our doors.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on communities all across the country, affecting both lives and livelihoods. The grants announced today as part of the Culture Recovery Fund will go directly into those communities, allowing iconic buildings to remain open, protecting jobs and giving breathing space to plan for longer-term recovery.
“There is a great deal of uncertainty ahead, but this funding will help churches and cathedrals to be places of refuge, rest and strength for all.
“In a time where so much is at risk, culture, arts and heritage are vital reminders that we all need inspiration and creativity in our lives; today’s announcement shows that the government understands this, and we are delighted that the part our churches and cathedrals play in that by providing a source of beauty and spiritual support has been recognised.”