To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, how much the Church of England spent on the maintenance and repair of its parish churches in the financial year 2019-20.
13 September 2021
A comprehensive record of maintenance and repair spend is not held centrally, as all parishes operate as independent entities. However it is estimated that parish communities spent at least £130m a year pre-pandemic on church building projects, including repair and maintenance, conservation of collections such as manuscripts, silver and textiles, improvements to accessibility and environmental sustainability, and inclusion of community facilities such as toilets and kitchens. Specialist building firms, craftspeople, archaeologists, conservators and others rely on churches to provide them with work and a training ground for passing their skills on to apprentices and trainees.
The vast majority of this money is raised locally and we are grateful to national bodies such as the National Lottery Heritage Fund, National Churches Trust, Wolfson Foundation and Pilgrim Trust, who continue to provide essential grants. The overall maintenance deficit continues to grow since the ending of the dedicated places of worship repair scheme in 2017.