The National Churches Trust
The National Churches Trust is an independent, national non-profit making organisation that supports and promotes church buildings of historic, architectural and community value. Since 2005, we have distributed more than £9 million in grants for restoration and modernisation to over 1,000 churches, covering a range of denominations and spanning the length and breadth of the UK.
The Trust is independent of government or church authorities. We rely on donations from individuals, charitable trusts and foundations and investments for our income.
To see a copy of our 2011-12 Annual Review, click here.
To view our entry on the Charity Commission website click here.
The UK’s churches, chapels and meeting houses
It is estimated that, across the UK, there are 47,000 Christian places of worship open for regular services. On top of that, there are places of worship situated within schools, universities, hospitals, prisons, military bases and even shopping centres, plus an array of private chapels. Furthermore, there are a number of historic churches now closed for regular worship, many of the best examples of which are in the care of a range of specialist organisations and charities.
The National Churches Trust has undertaken a major nationwide survey to get a better picture of how the UK’s church buildings are maintained, funded, managed and contribute to their communities. The findings from this exercise will appear here soon.
There has also been much other valuable work looking at different aspects of church buildings:
Trevor Cooper, the Chairman of the Ecclesiological Society, published in 2004 How do we keep our parish churches?, which contains a wealth of data and analysis about Church of England churches.
As part of its Caring for Places of Worship initiative, English Heritage published the results of its condition survey of listed English churches, and produced other useful information including a guide with practical advice, results from focus groups with congregations, and research into the impact of the Repair Grant Scheme and the Listed Places of Worship Grant scheme.
The Church of England’s own Building faith in our future paper of 2004 set out a strategy for supporting church buildings, and highlighted many facts and real-life examples.
The Historic Environment Advisory Council for Scotland published in 2008 a Research Report on the Extent of the Ecclesiastical Heritage of Scotland which outlines what is known and unknown about Scottish churches.