The Church of England has awarded £9 million to dioceses for repairs and specialist advice to parishes.
A total of £2.8 million has been allocated for 30 Church Buildings Support Officers across the country to give specialist advice on the management, conservation, repair and development of church buildings, including community use alongside worship.
A further £6.2 million has been allocated across 41 dioceses for making grants of up to £12,000 for repairs to churches. The grants will focus on small-scale but urgent works and ‘stitch in time’ projects that could save larger sums in the long term. The fund will also be able to help cover the cost of essential improvements for the mission and ministry of a church.
The grants come from Buildings for Mission, funded by the Church Commissioners and administered by the Archbishops’ Council over the period 2023 to 2025. We are delighted that our Diocese is one of the thirty that has been allocated funding for a Church Buildings Support Officer. This role is also funded in partnership with the Suffolk Historic Churches Trust.
In addition, our Diocese will receive grant funding for a minor repairs and improvements. This fund will be available for parishes to apply to for small-scale urgent works and projects that could save larger sums in the long term. The fund will also be able to help cover the cost of essential improvements for the mission and ministry of a church.
Gary Peverley, Diocesan Secretary said: “We are pleased to be strengthening our Church Buildings team in the new year, as this new role will help to support our parishes as they continue to look for ways to use their buildings to support their mission and local communities."
Geoffrey Probert, from Suffolk Historic Churches Trust said, “We look forward to working with the diocese on seeing this role providing direct and proactive support to parishes to advise and assist them on the management and repair and provide creative solutions and uses for church buildings”.
The recruiting of a Church Buildings Support Officer and the establishment of a small grants fund were both recommendations of the recent Church Buildings Commission Report and the Taylor Review Pilot Scheme in 2018 which our diocese was part of.
Gary continues “Our diocese involvement with the Taylor Review pilot scheme showed that the extra resource will have a material beneficial impact for our parishes”.
More information about the post and applying for grants will be available soon.