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06 July 2016

Could your church roof benefit from government grant?

Could your church roof benefit from government grant?

Historic churches across England set to benefit from money given to those needing repair.

Churches around England are getting support for urgent repairs needed for the upkeep of community spaces.

Nearly 300 Church of England parishes are to receive support for urgent repairs of roofs, gutters and drains.

St Mary, Stoke Newington, will now be able to maintain its space that was re-modelled in 2013 to create flexibility and improved facilities, and is now extensively used as a flexible arts and community space, alongside continued use for worship.

Sir Tony Baldry, chair of the Church Buildings Council, said: "It is fantastic that almost 300 more church buildings will receive significant help with roof repairs from government and we are hugely grateful to the Chancellor.

"We now need to ensure a sustainable way of funding church buildings in the future and this is a question to which I hope the government's English Churches and Cathedrals Sustainability Review will find viable and deliverable answers."

St Mary, Stoke Newington is the only surviving Elizabethan church in London and one of the oldest in the country to have been built as an Anglican rather than a Roman Catholic church.

The awards of between £10,000 and £100,000 come from the second round of awards from the Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund.

In total, 401 listed places of worship will benefit from awards from the £25 million funding package given by the Treasury.

Another church to benefit is St Mary & All Saints, Fotheringhay, in Northamptonshire, which is currently on Historic England's Heritage at Risk Register.

Fotheringhay is one of England's most celebrated late Gothic churches – Richard III was born and Mary Queen of Scots executed in the neighbouring castle and in the church itself are memorials to two Dukes of York who were buried here in the 1400s.

Today the church today attracts more than 3,000 visitors a year and various community events are hosted there.

The Fund, administered by the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) on behalf of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, was announced by George Osborne in the 2014 Autumn Statement and subsequently extended for a second round due to heavy over-subscription.

Overall, the Treasury has allocated £55 million to the scheme.