The future of Wales’ churches and chapels
Published: Wednesday, August 23, 2017
The Supporting Places of Worship in Wales Survey 2017 highlights some of the problems being faced by many Welsh churches and chapels.
Once the centre of Welsh society, many churches and chapels are still vital for community life. However, the job of looking after religious buildings is becoming harder as congregations decline.
The Supporting Places of Worship in Wales Survey 2017, organised by the National Churches Trust on behalf of the Welsh Places of Worship Forum highlights some of the problems. A total of 219 places of worship responded between May and July 2017.
1. A severe shortage of volunteers to look after church and chapel buildings.
Keeping churches and chapels open and in good repair is often up to volunteers. However, 50% of churches and chapels say that they are not attracting new volunteers due to dwindling congregations and a lack of young people.
2. A lack of skills needed to raise funds for repairs.
60% of churches and chapels need funding from external sources to pay for repair and maintenance projects to keep their building in good condition. But fundraising skills are in short supply. 28% of churches and chapels have no experience at all of making funding applications and 54% little experience.
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3. Churches and chapels want funding to help carry our regular maintenance.
One of the best ways of preventing the need for expensive repairs is to carry our regular maintenance. But almost half of churches and chapels surveyed (44%) do not have a maintenance plan. And over three quarters of churches and chapels (78%) said they wanted help with funding to carry out maintenance.