Funding boost for 41 UK churches and chapels

A total of 41 churches and chapels in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are set to benefit from a £247,205 grants package from the National Churches Trust, the UK church repair and support charity.

Churches being helped include:

  • St Mary’s Church, in Handsworth, Birmingham, known as the ‘Cathedral of the Industrial Revolution' which is associated with several of the men who made the Midlands an industrial powerhouse in the 19th century, including James Watt the steam engine pioneer who is buried in the church. The church receives a £10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund urgent tower repairs.
  • St Helen’s Church, Worcester, where the work will include clearing the gutters and tower of five years' accumulation of bird guano. The church is believed to be the oldest in Worcester, which is now in use by All Saints Church and under their stewardship, is to receive a £10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund stonework repairs and urgent roof repairs which will help remove this Grade II* listed church from the Historic England’s ‘Heritage at Risk’ register.
  • St Peter upon Cornhill, Grade I listed,  one of Sir Christopher Wren’s City of London churches, rebuilt after the Great Fire of London between 1677 and 1684. It is one of the few City churches to have escaped bomb damage during the Blitz. The church receives a £3,000 National Churches Trust Project Development Grant to plan a project to reveal its fascinating heritage to the public.
  • Shrewsbury Abbey, a medieval (11th century) Grade I listed scheduled monument which is now a parish church serving an area including the second most deprived community in Shropshire. Visitors are presently faced with some areas of the outside cordoned off as parts of the Abbey are a potential health and safety hazard. Shrewsbury Abbey receives a £10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund urgent stonework repairs which will help remove the church from the Historic England 'Heritage at Risk' register.
  • St Thomas the Martyr, a well known landmark in Newcastle upon Tyne, thanks to its distinctive hollow spire. It is sometimes known as ‘the black church’ because of the discolouration of its stone. When the clock broke a few years ago, local people blamed the church for being late to work as they depended on it! The church is to receive a £20,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to help fund the installation of toilets in order to increase community use of the building. Together with separately funded repairs, the project will help remove this Grade II* listed church from the Historic England ‘Heritage at Risk’ register.

Broadcaster and Journalist Huw Edwards, Vice-President of the National Churches Trust said: “I’m delighted that the future of 41 churches and chapels is being secured with the help of National Churches Trust grants to help fund urgent repairs, install much needed community facilities and to carry out essential maintenance.

“According to a recent ComRes opinion poll*, more than four in five Britons (83%) agree that the UK’s churches, chapels and meeting houses are an important part of the UK’s heritage and history.

“Churches and chapels are at heart of our cities, towns and villages. In good repair they can continue to play a vital role in the life and well-being of people for many, many years to come.”

The latest round of grants from the National Churches Trust consists of 19 Maintenance Grants, 15 Repair Grants, six Community Grants and one Project Development Grant.

*ComRes interviewed 2,048 GB adults online for the National Churches Trust between the 15th and 18th December 2016. Data were weighted by gender, age, region and socio-economic grade to be representative of all adults in Great Britain aged 18+. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Full data tables are available at

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