Welcome for Places of Worship: Inspiring Ideas

Published: Monday, September 3, 2018


The National Churches Trust has welcomed the launch by The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) of 'Places of Worship: Inspiring Ideas', a new strategic partnership to help secure the future of places of worship.

'Places of Worship: Inspiring Ideas' is a funding initiative for innovative ideas to support managing, caring for, and funding historic places of worship, of all faiths and denominations.

The aim of the fund is to test new ideas and initiatives to help make historic places of worship financially resilient, so they are safeguarded for future generations.

Catherine Townsend, Grants Manager for the National Churches Trust said:

“The National Churches Trust is very pleased to be one of several funders and heritage bodies actively involved in the Places of Worship: Inspiring Ideas programme. Our role will be to help promote this new Heritage Lottery Fund programme, and to be part of the selection and assessment process.”

“I hope that places of worship will come up with a range of new and imaginative ideas for funding by the Places of Worship: Inspiring Ideas programme. This is a great opportunity to think outside the box and seek new ways to ensure a sustainable future for churches, chapels and meeting houses. Thanks go to the HLF for working with the National Churches Trust and other partners to develop the idea.”

What could be funded?

Successful projects could focus on single places of worship or partnerships working together to explore and trial innovative ideas. Projects could be linked geographically, thematically or by the challenges faced.

Example activities that could be supported include:

  •  investigating and trialling new approaches to fundraising, trading or other income generating activities;
  •  activities that explore new models of managing the building and engaging with the wider community;
  •  building capacity across a group of congregations by identifying and delivering training for staff, volunteers and trustees; or
  •  investigating new ways of sharing learning and resources across a number of faith sites or brokering new partnerships

Who is in the partnership?

The project is a partnership between the HLF, the Pilgrim Trust, the Plunkett Foundation and the National Churches Trust. Total funding available will be at least £1million.

How much can I apply for?

Grants will be delivered through HLF’s existing Resilient Heritage programme and applicants can apply for a grant of between £10,000 and £250,000. All projects must be delivered in a single stage.

Why is the Heritage Lottery Fund launching this initiative?

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of HLF, trailed Places of Worship: Inspiring Ideas at the National Churches Trust Conference ‘Building Resilience’, in June.

It joins a number of new targeted initiatives designed to help heritage organisations and those responsible for heritage to build financial resilience and future sustainability including Rethinking Parks and Resilient Heritage.   

Commenting on the ambitions for the initiative, Ros Kerslake, said:

“Building financial resilience is vital to the future of all heritage organisations. Places of Worship: Inspiring Ideas is the latest in a series of strategic HLF initiatives designed to empower local people to work together to explore new ways of securing the heritage that matters to them.

“Places of worship have a particular set of challenges but sharing ideas and inspiring others, will give congregations the tools needed to build a sustainable future.”

More details