To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what recent discussions he has had with the Church Commissioners about repair and renewal of the church estate.
30 September 2022
The Church Commissioners and Archbishops' Council have agreed to funding of £11 million for 2023-25 in support of Buildings for Mission, which includes £2m for places of worship maintenance/repairs, and funding for up to 20 support officers to work with communities on the care of their church buildings. This is alongside a one-off commitment of £190 million (over nine years) to support the whole Church, including its buildings, in the transition towards Net Zero 2030.
12,500 church buildings are listed, with 45% of all England's Grade I listed buildings being cathedrals and churches. The average annual cost for the maintenance and repairs to parish churches alone is estimated at £150 million, and the maintenance of our churches across the country is mostly financed by generous local donors and volunteers. Support and advice, including on available grants, is available from ChurchCare: https://www.churchofengland.org/resources/churchcare
The Church remains grateful for the continuation of the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme and the Culture Recovery Fund. Money invested in church buildings has positive benefits to the wider community: the 2021 House of Good report by the National Churches Trust (https://www.houseofgood.nationalchurchestrust.org/) found that "the annual social and economic value of church buildings to the UK is worth around £55 billion. This sum, calculated using the latest HM Treasury Green Book guidance, includes the contribution churches make to wellbeing and to local economies."
The Church is committed to engaging with the Government on the implementation of the recommendations of the 2017 Taylor Review into the sustainability of church buildings (The Taylor Review: Sustainability of English Churches and Cathedrals - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)).