Helping 20th Century Churches

Published: Friday, March 15, 2019


The National Churches Trust has helped 57 twentieth century churches since 2014.

The Phoenix Renewed, a conference at Coventry Cathedral from 18 – 19 March 2019, examines the challenges facing the UK’s post-war churches and cathedrals. The conference is organised by the Church of England's ChurchCare and supported by a number of organisations, including Historic England.

A continuing problem for post-war and twentieth churches is obtaining funds for repairs and maintenance.

Since 2014, the National Churches Trust has awarded grants totalling over £700,000 to help 57 twentieth century churches with funding for maintenance, repairs and the installation of modern facilities. 

They include examples of the work of some of the leading post-war church architects, including:

  • St. Bride's Roman Catholic Church in East Kilbride. This Grade A church, designed by the architectural practice of Gillespie, Kidd and Coia, was awarded a £40,000 National Churches Trust Repair grant in 2015.
  • St. Paul’s church in Bow Common, London. This Grade I listed church, designed by Robert Maguire and Keith Murray was awarded a £50,000 National Churches Trust Repair grant in 2014.
  • Our Lady Help of Christians in Kitts Green, Birmingham. This Grade II* listed church, designed by Roger Gilbert Scott was awarded a £40,000 National Churches Trust Repair grant in 2016.

Full list of twentieth century churches funded by the National Churches Trust 2014 - 2018

The National Churches Trust’s grants are open to any church, chapel or meeting house in the UK which is open for regular worship.  The Trust funds both listed and unlisted churches, which is particularly helpful for post war churches, only a small proportion of which are listed.

The UK's Best Modern Church

As part of the National Churches Trust’s 60th anniversary celebrations in 2014, together with the Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association and the 20th Century Society, the Trust organised a competition to nominate the UK’s best modern church architecture.

Over 200 churches were nominated for the competition by the public, parishes and architects. It was open to church buildings from any Christian denomination in the United Kingdom which opened for worship after 1 January 1953.

St Paul’s Church in Bow Common,  London, known locally as ‘The Gate of Heaven’ was chosen as ‘The UK’s Best Modern Church’. You can see a video about Bow Common below.

If you are seeking funding or advice on how best to look after a twentieth century church, please visit our Grants Pages for information on how we can help.

Please also visit our new  online MaintenanceBooker service to find out how to request quotes from quality and accredited contractors to help tackle your church’s essential maintenance needs.