More funding to keep churches and chapels open and in good repair is to be made available in 2023 by the Northumbria Historic Churches Trust.
Thanks to a number of very significant legacies, the Trust will be awarding £225,000 in grants in 2023. That’s an increase of over 400% on the average annual funding of around £50,000 awarded in recent years.
The Northumbria Historic Churches Trust was set up over 40 years ago in 1981 to help keep churches in the North East stay open and in good repair by providing grants. Last year it was able to help 17 church projects of various sizes including: internal beam replacement at Darlington Northgate United Reformed Church; stonework repairs at Hexham Abbey and at All Saints Church, Gateshead; and wiring repairs at St Mary’s Church, Easington. To help make it easier for churches to apply for funding, the Trust has launched a new website featuring a new, easy to use online grant application form. The new website has been produced by Rothbury based web development company Lazy Grace (www.lazygrace.com).
Robin Brims, Chairman of the Trust said:
“It is a wonderful blessing that Northumbria Historic Churches Trust recently received some very significant legacies. That means that we can boost the financial support we can offer to churches.
"Churches are a vital part of local heritage, do great work in supporting local communities and are of course places of worship and also places for quiet reflection.
"Our region has over 700 churches and chapels, but many struggle to find the funding they need to pay for repairs and the installation of essential community facilities themselves. It is up to congregations to find the money they need and there is little or no central support from Government or denominations. That’s why our support, which is available to churches from all Christian denominations, is so important.
"Being able to offer a total of £225,000 in 2023 will allow more churches to carry out essential building work such as stonework and roof repair, replacing floor tiles, plastering, window repair, and repairs to electric and lighting systems. We also consider applications for the installation of kitchen areas and toilets where this would enhance the life of the church and allow it to support the local community.
"As well as being grateful to those who have supported us with legacies, we remain thankful for the support of the Sir James Knott Trust and several other grant making charities, parishes and individuals.”
By Northumbria Historic Churches Trust