More church buildings 'At Risk'

Published: Thursday, October 26, 2017

 

Historic England's 2017 Heritage at Risk Register has been published and includes 130 new churches.

These include St Anne's Limehouse Parish Church, Commercial Road, Stepney, London and the Church of St George the Martyr, Borough High Street, Bermondsey (which appeared in Little Dorrit) and which received a £20,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant in July 2017.

937 (6.3%) of listed places of worship are on the Register.
115 places of worship have been removed from the Register following repair work, and 130 have been added. More details on the Historic England website

Historic England said:

"The number of Places of Worship on the Register has been creeping up over the last few years. This is because we have been working with partners from all denominations to better understand the condition of our Places of Worship, assisted by the Support Officer Posts we fund in several places. However it is fair to say that the deteriorating condition of these buildings nationally reflects a trend well publicised relating to the declining numbers in congregations, with smaller groups of people often struggling to look after their individual churches."

A spokesman for the National Churches Trust said:

"England has some of the most beautiful churches and chapels to be found anywhere in the world. Keeping them in good condition remains a major challenge for cash strapped congregations, especially in rural areas where the number of worshippers may be extremely small. Solutions include providing more money for repairs through schemes such as the government sponsored Roof Repair Fund and making it easier for churches to carry out regular maintenance, thereby preventing the need for expensive repairs. It's also important that church buildings are open on a regular basis and used for community activities as well as for worship so that more people have a stake in their future."