National Churches Trust Annual Review demonstrates increasing support for churches

Published: Monday, August 1, 2016


The National Churches Trust has published its Annual Review for 2015-2016.

While demand for our grants programmes continues to grow, we have also seen an expansion in the range of support that we are able to offer to churches. A ComRes poll commissioned in December 2015 shows that churches matter - there is overwhelming public support for church buildings. 

The Annual Review reports that in 2015 the National Churches Trust was involved in making or recommending 177 grant offers totalling £2,164,941. This includes 41 grants for urgent and essential structural repairs, 25 grants for community facilities, and 88 grants awarded on the recommendation of local churches trusts across England and Scotland.

National Churches Trust funding is available to churches open for worship and used by a denomination that is a member of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland. We have given support and advice to many hundreds more.

The Annual Review gives details of other Trust work in 2015, including the ‘Save Our Spires’ campaign, which has already raised over £20,000 for urgent repair work; the winners of the 2015 Presidents’ Award and King of Prussia Gold Medal for Church Architecture; and the first winner of the Marsh Awards for Innovative Projects, awarded to the best church community project. 

50 Things to do in a Church

’50 Things to do in a Church’ is launched in the National Churches Trust’s Annual Review. It’s a campaign that celebrates the many ways that people use and experience churches, including some of the architecture and history that make them such exciting places to visit, and such amazing assets to communities around the UK. Michael Palin writes about his nomination for our list – churches as ‘an oasis of peace and quiet’.

The National Churches Trust’s Annual Review also includes a feature article by parliamentary sketch writer and theatre critic Quentin Letts. He writes engagingly on being ‘but history’s latest tenants’ of ancient churches. The Right Rev John Inge, Bishop of Worcester, examines how the power of place across time helps to root faith in parish churches.

The Annual Review features four artists from the Mall Gallery’s exhibition ‘The Painted Parish’, exploring notions of place and time, as well as faith and worship, through British churches. Scotland’s Churches Trust contributes one of ‘Scotland’s Pilgrim Journeys’, exploring Scotland’s sacred places in the footsteps of the Celtic saints.

The Annual Review is available online here.

Claire Walker, Chief Executive of the National Churches Trust, said:

“In 2015 we increased and strengthened the holistic support we are able to offer those looking after the UK’s churches, chapels, and meeting houses.


“In addition to being able to benefit from our grants programmes, those responsible for looking after the UK’s ecclesiastical built heritage can rely on the National Churches Trust for advice and guidance.


“Increasing and improving this support has been made possible through the restructuring last year of our Church Support team. The team, made up of skilled and dedicated staff, is able to support as many church buildings as possible, listed or unlisted, from all Christian denominations and from all geographical areas across the UK.


“My thanks go to all our supporters, whether they choose to donate to a specific appeal, pledge a gift in their Will, or to become a Friend, Life Friend, or Cornerstone Club member. We could not do our work without them.


“In 2016 we will continue to strengthen our partnerships, award as many grants as our funding will allow, and champion the cause of church buildings so that communities across the UK can use and enjoy these buildings for many years to come."

Full financial reports are also available here