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The ChurchCare eBulletin comes out three times a year and features news, events, guidance, advice and updates. To receive the eBulletin visit our home page and sign up via the newsletter sign-up tool in the bottom right-hand corner.


Government confirms its commitment to funding LPOW

The Church Buildings Council is pleased to announce that it has received written confirmation from the Heritage Minister, John Glen MP, that following the General Election the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme will continue at its current levels until March 2020.

The Second Church Estates Commissioner, Dame Caroline Spelman MP, who led discussions with government ministers on the importance of LPOW, said “I am delighted to be able to confirm the government’s continuing commitment to this vital grant scheme until 2020. All involved recognise the part these grants have to play in maintaining our nation’s largest group of historic and community buildings.”

There are no changes planned to the eligibility criteria or application process. More information on applying can be found on the dedicated website:

HLF commitment to funding paces of worship; update from the Church Buildings Council.

The Church Buildings Council has made it clear that it considers the abrupt closure of GPOW, particularly without consultation or the carrying out of an Impact Assessment, was a mistake. We continue to regret the decision. However, HLF have reassured us in writing that the amount of their funds spent on places of worship, as a percentage of their total budget, will remain at levels equivalent to 2016. This assurance has been provided by the Chairman and Board of Trustees and runs until March 2019, when their new strategic framework period begins. This concrete assurance offers a clear demonstration that HLF does not intend to stop contributing to the care and development of our churches, and is the result of robust and effective negotiations between the HLF and the Church Buildings Council.

Officers of the Church Buildings Council are working with staff at the HLF to put in place evaluation of the impact of the changes on places of worship. We anticipate this will include measuring the number of projects funded, to see how results equate to GPOW, and calculating the percentage of grant funds spent on capital building works, which remains one of our primary concerns.

The HLF has produced new guidance for churches considering applications, available on their website. The Church Buildings Council will be producing practical notes on that give churches applying to the Heritage Grants scheme clear ideas of how to demonstrate that their repairs-based project will meet HLF outcomes under their general schemes.

The HLF will begin consultation this Autumn on its next strategic framework. This is an opportunity for all churches, cathedrals and dioceses to contribute their ideas on how the HLF should disperse Lottery players’ money from 2019 onwards. We believe this is a crucial chance to reflect on the successes of HLF funding for places of worship, and to make the case for continued high levels of investment. We intend to make our submission public so that churches, cathedrals and dioceses can understand our position, and our hopes for the next strategic period in HLF’s management.

The Church Buildings Council is actively working with partners from other faiths and denominations on demonstrating the particular needs of places of worship, and the opportunities they offer to the nation. This work ties in to the ongoing independent review of cathedral and church building sustainability commissioned by Treasury and DCMS in 2016; we are in a strong position to work with these Government Departments when the review presents its report later this year.

Becky Clark, Director of Churches and Cathedrals and Secretary of the Church Buildings Council

10 September 2017

The Association of Festival Churches working with the Diocese of Oxford invites you to its annual gathering.

This will be an opportunity to hear about the work of Festival churches nationally, and to think through some of the issues facing the rural church and the future of rural buildings.

We shall be meeting in the newly refurbished and reordered church of St Mary Magdalene Woodstock on November 30th.

You do not need to be a member of the AFC to attend. It is open to all comers.

Tickets cost £15 plus eventbrite booking fee (once booked not refundable) to include lunch. An invoice can be requested but it is payable by November 1st please.

There is an opportunity to walk in Blenheim Palace Park at lunchtime at no cost (by kind permission of the Operations Director).

For further details and to book click here.

Consultation on the Quinquennial Inspection System


The Church Buildings Council has worked with dioceses and with external partners to produce new draft guidance on: 


1) The commissioning of Quinquennial Inspection reports
2) A model scheme for dioceses
3) A new online template to be hosted on the Church Heritage Record

Responses are welcomed from all individuals and bodies concerned with the operation of this system. Please write or e-mail your response by the 31st December 2017 to Dr This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Cathedral and Church Buildings Division, Church House, Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3AZ.