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Supporting over 16,000 cathedral and church buildings of The Church of England


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The Bats in Churches partnership project has been successful in its application to Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a grant of £3.8 million. Securing this funding means that we can now deliver the Bats in Churches project over the next five years, bringing together wildlife, heritage conservation and church communities to save bats and protect churches so that future generations can enjoy and benefit from both.

This ground-breaking project is being led by Natural England with the Church of England, Historic England, Churches Conservation Trust and Bats Conservation Trust as partners.  

The UK’s bat population has suffered significant historical declines which is why they are protected by UK law. Loss of natural habitats means some bat species have been forced to find safe havens in buildings including historic churches.Many church communities live harmoniously with bat roosts however, in some cases bats are causing irreparable damage to historically significant church monuments and memorials as well as impacting upon the people who use the buildings.

Recently approved techniques and a new licence developed by Natural England to permit necessary work will be used to improve both the natural and historic environment and to support the people who care for them.

The bats in churches project will:

  • Find practical solutions to enable 102 of the most severely impacted church communities to reduce the impact of bats on the church
  • Create a new network of fully trained volunteers who can undertake bat surveys and support congregations who have bat roosts at their church
  • Train professional ecologists and historic building specialists in new techniques and  knowledge to improve their advice to congregations
  • Collect and collate up-to-date data from over 700 churches across England, helping to build a specialist knowledge base of bats and their use of churches
  • Strengthen local communities so people value and engage with their local natural and historic built heritage

The project will be setting up and recruiting staff over the next few months and a new website will be set up to provide project updates.

The independent evaluation of the First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund grant scheme, to which the government contributed £40 million, was published on 17 July 2018 and is available in full in the below link


The First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund, launched by the Government in 2014, invited applications from Catholic and Church of England cathedrals to address urgent repair works. The fund prioritised making buildings weatherproof, safe and open to the public as well as ensuring they would be in a safe condition to host acts of remembrance for the centenary of the First World War armistice in 2018.

Grants were awarded over two phases between 2014-18, each totalling £20 million. A total of 130 awards were made to 57 cathedrals. Twelve cathedrals were awarded more than £1 million each, and the average award was £274,000.

Projects supported by the fund were all assessed by architects as requiring urgent attention either immediately or within 12 months.

The largest number of projects (approximately a third) were for roof repairs. Many of the repairs funded also related to external masonry, with other projects covered including guttering, heating, sound system, electrical and window refurbishment.

Grants were awarded by an independent panel chaired by Sir Paul Ruddock, a position appointed by the Secretary of State. The Fund was administered by the Church of England’s Cathedrals and Church Buildings Division (CCB) on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, with the CCB praised in the report for cost efficiency and excellent communication.

The report concluded that the fund had been successful in achieving its aims and met a funding need that could not be met elsewhere, adding that areas of cathedrals covered by grant-aided projects had been very largely changed from needing urgent repair to needing routine maintenance only. 

As part of the evaluation process, individual summaries were produced for each of the 130 projects supported, which are accessbile on our cathedral's funding page


The Cathedral and Church Buildings division are looking for a candidate wanting to further their career in mapping and wanting to learn more in this area. With the assistance of the Digital Projects Manager, and the Mapping and Graphic Officer in the Research and Statistics team, to undertake a data cleaning exercise using Map Info software and GIS technologies to support the Cathedral and Church Buildings Division with locating, naming and defining the boundaries of the Church of England’s burial grounds and churchyards, as well as those of other denominations, faiths and local authorities, as part of the National Burial Grounds Survey project.

The main responsibilities for this post are as follows;

Under the direction of the Digital Projects and Outreach manager the GIS support intern will be expected to:

  • Assist the Mapping and Graphics Officers with conducting queries of Ordnance Survey datasets using Map Info software to locate burial grounds and churchyards in England.
  • Use Map Info software and other GIS tools such as GRASS to identify the place names of burial grounds and churchyards in England.
  • Support the Digital Projects Manager with generating a unique numbering system for burial grounds and churchyards in England.
  • Assist the Digital Projects Manager by categorising the burial grounds and churchyards of England by type or function.
  • Ensure datasets are arranged and presented in a consistent manner in an Excel spreadsheet in order to facilitate the efficient upload of information into the Church Heritage Record.
  • Assist the Digital Projects Manager with manually correcting data from the Burial Ground Survey project into the Church Heritage Record.

General duties and responsibilities:

  • Performing day-to-day office tasks including (but not limited to) answering emails and telephone enquiries about the National Burial Ground Survey project and assisting with filing.
  • Assist the Digital Projects Manager to promote the heritage of our burial grounds by acting as an advocate for the project.
  • Attending staff meetings on the first Monday of every month

The ideal candidate that we are looking for should have the following;


  • Experience of data entry and proven accuracy skills
  • A Level or equivalent, including History or Geography
  • Strong IT skills (in particular Excel, Internet browsers, and GIS tools)
  • Ability to work independently and show initiative
  • Ability to follow an established process or set of instructions
  • Good organisational skills
  • Self-motivated and reliable, a keenness to learn


  • Currently undertaking or recently graduated with a BA in Geography, Computer Science, Archaeology, Surveying and Mapping Sciences, or other relevant field.
  • An interest in religious and architectural history and archaeology
  • Experience of Historic Environment Records or GIS databases
  • Knowledge of Map Info and GRASS software

To apply for the role and to find out more infromation about the post, see our Pathways website

The Government is now inviting bids for a new £1 million Coastal Revival Fund round, which is for grant funding to be spent in 2018 to 2019. More information on this can be accessed via the Government website

Bids of up to £50,000 per project, are to be submitted by 23:59 hours on Thursday 5 July 2018.

This Coastal Revival Fund round will support projects to help revive heritage assets that are important to local communities but have not yet reached their full economic potential or are facing neglect. Examples of eligible sites and assets include seafronts and public squares, as well as piers, parks, promenades, lighthouses, lidos, marinas, military structures and so on.

A guide for churches interested in applying for this Coastal Revival Fund is avaialbe as a PDF here