£15 million fund to help churches keep body and soul together

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Church congregations across Scotland now have a new £15 million fund available to them to help them keep a solid roof over their heads.

Grants are available now through the UK Government-funded Listed Place of Worship: Roof Repair Fund to allow them to deal with urgent roof repairs to ensure their historic listed places of worship are weathertight, safe and open for use.

Organisations, trusts and congregations of all faiths and denominations can apply for a grant from £10,000 to £100,000 to meet the costs of urgent repairs to roofs and rainwater disposal systems.

Limited funding can also be provided for structural investigations, specialist reports and bat surveys.

Sajid Javid, culture secretary, said: “Our places of worship are wonderful examples of our heritage that we’re proud to invest in. This fund will help conserve and maintain these historic buildings so they can continue to play a vital role in the communities they serve, for years to come.”

Rt Revd Dr John Inge, The Bishop of Worcester, lead bishop for cathedrals and church buildings, welcomed the news that the funding has been made availalble.

He said: “This will make a real and lasting difference to parishes that are awarded grants. A secure roof can last 100 years and will prevent gradual, and costly, decay of fabric. It will keep these important buildings warm and secure, allowing them to remain open and welcoming for both worship and wider community use.

“This fund will particularly provide relief for those parishes that are resource-poor, allowing them to focus their attention on growing their ministry and engaging with local people.”

There is only one opportunity to apply to the fund the closing date for which is noon on Friday, January 30. Decisions will be announced in March. Details on how to apply can be found at www.lpowroof.org.uk