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.
What does this mean for our Diocese and for you?
Our Diocese is one of the thirty that has been allocated funding for a Church Buildings Support Officer. We are in the process of recruiting for this role and the position will be funded by the Buildings for Mission programme.
Our Diocese will also receive funding for a Minor Repairs and Improvements Grants Fund. 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.
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.
Nicholas Cannon, Secretary of the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC), said: “We are delighted that our Diocese was included in the Buildings for Mission programme. This is just what was recommended in the recent report of the Bishop of Norwich’s Church Buildings Commission. Prompt, “stitch-in-time” repairs and improvements are crucial in keeping the historic churches of Norfolk and Waveney in good shape for the future. Our parishes will make very good use of this money”.
Tim Sweeting, Diocesan Secretary said: “I am really pleased that we can administer these national funds to support the health of our local parish church buildings, which are so key to the mission and ministry of the Church of England across the Diocese. We are really excited as we know these funds will make a big difference in local communities.”
More information on eligible projects and how to apply for support from the Minor Repair and Improvements Grant Fund will be available soon.