More churches benefit from £1.1m Capital Grant Scheme

Published: Wednesday, November 20, 2013


More listed churches and chapels are set to benefit from a £1.1m Capital Grant Scheme funding new extensions and facilities, including toilets and kitchens, and improving access and energy efficiency.

Announced on 20 November 2012  by the National Churches Trust are four grants totalling £85,000 to Coldingham Priory Church in Berwickshire, Scotland,  (pictured left)  founded in 1098 and once the northernmost house of the monks of St Cuthbert, who were then centred on Durham; to two Baptist churches in Leeds and North Shields and to Dunlop Parish Church, East Ayrshire, Scotland . The grant awards follow on from Capital Grant scheme grants of £144,000 announced by the National Churches Trust in June 2012.

The National Churches Trust is administering £319,000 of the £1.1m grant scheme on behalf of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, specifically for listed places of worship not in the Church of England’s care. The Church of England has received £781,000 to allocate across its dioceses.

Claire Walker Chief Executive of the National Churches Trust said:

"Churches and chapels are vital to the well-being of local communities. This much needed investment in places of worship will help fund new community facilities including up-to-date kitchens and toilets."

“The National Churches Trust has directly helped support the repair, restoration and modernisation of over 1,000 places of worship over the last five years through its own grants programmes. However, we are only able to support a small proportion of the many worthy projects that apply to us for funding. “

“That's why the 2012-2013 Capital Grant Scheme, which we are helping to run on behalf of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, is such good news. These new Capital Grants to churches and chapels will enable more listed places of worship to better serve their members and help strengthen local communities.”


Coldingham Priory Church, Coldingham, Berwickshire, Scotland (Church of Scotland) £10,000 grant.

The Priory in Coldingham has been an ancient place of Christian worship for over 900 years. The Priory is a Scottish Grade A-Listed Ancient Monument. Founded in 1098 as a church, the Priory soon became the northernmost house of the monks of St Cuthbert, who were then centred on Durham. Appropriated in the 15th century by the Kings of Scotland, the Priory went into decline. Many changes followed, both in construction and violent destruction. The present Coldingham church includes remnants of a 13th century building.

The local area is a small rural village and it is undergoing wider regeneration. Funding of £10,000 will support the Priory Church Plan to enhance access, provide new facilities and improve the flexibility of the interior space to attract more users. The plan involves providing a wheelchair lift and emergency exit, new disabled toilet, a kitchenette and meeting room and a switch from fixed pews to flexible seating.

More information

Dunlop Parish Church, Dunlop, East Ayrshire, Scotland  (Church of Scotland)  £35,000 grant

The B Listed church is very much at the heart of Dunlop village and occupies an impressive site in a designated outstanding conservation area. The church was built in 1835, but the north gable incorporates some of the architecture from the first church built on this site in 1641. It has 26 beautiful stained glass windows (some by Gordon Webster), the most out-standing being the Tower window, which is lit every evening and shines like a beacon up Main Street. In 1884 a new pulpit, communion table and baptismal font were designed by John W Small, FSA Scot, and this is one of the few examples of his work still on public view in Scotland.

Funding will allow the church to complete a repair and modernisation scheme which started in 2008 and to then re-open. Following the eradication of dry rot, phase two of the scheme will update facilities including the installation of new toilets with disabled facilities and the creation of a new servery.

More information

South Parade Baptist Church, Headingly, Leeds Yorkshire £20,000 grant

Grade II listed South Parade Baptist church in Headingly dates from 1908 and is in a free Gothic style with a steel truss roof disguised by an attractive plaster ceiling in a broad curve cut into by the clerestory windows; while the exterior is Gothic, Renaissance motifs are to the fore inside.

The refurbishment work is to a part of the building known as the Green House Community Centre, which was developed from a little used area and is named after a former minister who had a particular passion for work in the community.  
Funding will help create a new kitchen and a new servery, including hot and cold food areas.  This will allow for the reopening of the community café, the expansion of homeless outreach project and use by RNIB for a support meeting for a group of local blind and partially-sighted people.

More information

North Shields Baptist Church, North Shields, Tyne & Wear £20,000 grant

North Shields Chapel was constructed in 1846, under the direction of the renowned local architect John Dobson. At first it was simply a one-room chapel, but during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, various additions were made, including a hall at the rear.

Funding will help fund a new toilet for men, a separate, accessible toilet and re-laying the drains running from the toilets, kitchen and courtyard.  There is a continuing and steady growth in both community use and church use of the building. The project will enable the church to better service the needs of current users. It will also make possible new uses such as a drop-in centre for refugees, many of whom are men.

More information

Photographs of the churches and chapels can be downloaded from our Flickr site