2016 11 01 from HRBALLIANCE

This free newsletter is brought to you with the support of Luke Hughes®, a specialist furniture design studio who have worked with places of worship for over thirty years. For more on their work, including stacking pews and liturgical furniture, visit


Please pass on this e-newsletter, and mention it to others. Anyone can sign up to receive their own copy – free – at our website
We rely on other parties for much of the content and wording of these items. Mistakes and misunderstandings can occur, and if you wish to use any items, you should always check the accuracy and current position with the original source.
Please continue to let us know what is happening to help secure the future of historic religious buildings, so we can share it with others. The deadline for information to go in the next e-newsletter is Friday 25 November. Please email:

1. Don't forget to book your place at the HRBA's BIG UPDATE on Wednesday 30th November at St Albans Centre, Holborn, Central London
The Historic Religious Buildings Alliance's BIG UPDATE is your chance to keep up to date with what's happening to secure the future of historic religious buildings, and to chat to others with similar interests and concerns. The only event of its kind, it's friendly, lively, and informal, combining short talks with time for questions and discussion. This year's topics will be as wide ranging as ever. Confirmed presentations will be:
1.  A maintenance mission for Yorkshire: a new initiative for places of worship - Michael Murray, Director of Church Support, National Churches Trust
2. an update on Some Contemporary Challenges being faced by the Roman Catholic Church - Sophie Andreae, Vice Chairman Patrimony Committee, Chairman Patrimony Sub-Committee
3. The SPAB History at Your Feet project - floors: threats to and preservation of - Emma Lawrence, Head of Casework, the SPAB
4. An update on the Cathedral and Church Buildings Sustainability Review
5. Automatic Locks: Unlocking potential or opening a can of worms? - Rachel Morley, Estate Officer, the Churches Conservation Trust
6. Give and receive with the mobile generation: visitor information and donations at unmanned buildings - Neil Rathbone, Director, Webnebulus
7. Approaches to supporting community-led design in historic places of worship - Dr Katerina Alexiou, Empowering Design Practices project, the Open University
8. Churches and Community Energy:  a case study from St. Anne's Church, Highgate - Nikki Brain, Chair of Power Up North London and the Revd. Fr. Andrew Meldrum
You can now book via EVENTBRITE: We look forward to seeing you there!
2. HRBA Meeting Dates for 2017
A reminder of dates for HRBA Meetings for 2017 – please put them in your diary

  • Wednesday 1 March 2017: Members Briefing meeting (2pm – 4.30pm) and Steering Group meeting (4.30pm - 5.30pm), Stockwood Room, Southwark Diocesan Office, Trinity House, 4 Chapel Court, Borough High Street, London SE1 1HW
  • Wednesday 7 June 2017:   Members Briefing meeting – venue under discussion
  • Wednesday 6 September 2017: Members Briefing meeting (2pm – 4.30pm) and Steering Group meeting (4.30pm - 5.30pm), Newcomen Room, Southwark Diocesan Office, Trinity House, 4 Chapel Court, Borough High Street, London SE1 1HW
  • Wednesday 6 December 2017: The Big Update, St Albans Centre, Holborn, London


3. Methodist Heritage and Archives regional network day, Salisbury, 5 November
Methodist Heritage is organising a one day FREE event aimed at archivists, historians and heritage enthusiasts providing information and practical skills on how to assess the significance of church objects and artefacts, how to use archive resources to develop today’s ministry, an introduction to community archive websites and recording of memories and how to use your church anniversary for mission.,4J0ZE,A0UTB2,GRMAF,1#page=5
4. Training session on Energy Efficiency for Places of Worship, the SPAB’s Maintenance Co-Operatives Project, St Cuthbert's Plumbland, 2-4/4.30pm, 9 November
Training will be delivered by Emma Greenshaw of Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS). Contact Sue Manson for info/booking if outside the Binsey area, 07776 197143
5. Being a Creative Open Presence: Opening Your Doors to Art, London, 9 November
The Church has played a vital role in supporting the arts throughout its history, and churches remain among the finest and most accessible venues for people to engage with both the history of art and with contemporary art. But if visual arts haven’t been part of your church’s life, where do you start? How can you expand your church’s visual arts offerings? How do you attract artists and exhibitors, and how do you know if what you’re being offered is any good?
This event, part of the Diocese of London’s Open Presence series and produced in cooperation with Art and Christianity Enquiry, seeks to address these questions through a series of talks and a surgery to answer any specific concerns delegates might have.
6. FRH Biennial conference, Vicenza, Italy, 9-11 November
Registration is now open for the fifth Future for Religious Heritage’s international conference. The theme is Tourists, Travellers and Pilgrims: Encountering Religious Heritage in Today’s Europe. The three days will be dedicated to a keynote address, workshops, a plenary session and visits to the area. 
7. Care and Repair of Old Floors Seminar, the SPAB, Manchester Town Hall, 15 November
Responding to concerns raised about the loss of historic floors, especially those in historic places of worship, the SPAB have launched a campaign to raise awareness of the value of old floors and are also holding this major one-day seminar on caring and repairing old floors.
8. Fundraising Training for Churches, Cumbria Council for Voluntary Services, Penrith , 15 November
This session has been specifically developed by Cumbria Council for Voluntary Service for church and faith based groups. It will provide an essential guide to identifying and applying for suitable funding for your church building, groups and community support. It will also include guidance on application form completion, monitoring and evaluation and much more. Fee: £10 per person (CVS member); £40 per person (non-member).
Booking essential
CVS Membership: costs £30 per year and gives your church or local Churches Together group access to reduced rates services, including training and a range of other benefits - see:
9. Raising Funds for Christian Charities and Churches, Central Hall Westminster, Tuesday 22 November
A one-day conference, offering leaders and fundraisers of Christian charities and churches the opportunity to hear from leading funders of Christian projects, inspirational case-studies and specialist advice on fundraising and income generation for Christian causes.
10. Association of Festival Churches Conference 2016, London, 24 November
The first annual conference of the Association of Festival Churches set up to support parishes and dioceses considering the Festival Church model which was recommended in the October 2015 Church Buildings Review. Speakers will explain the legal, practical, financial and liturgical aspects of this initiative.

11. More than Bricks and Stones: Unlocking the potential of heritage, National Churches Trust, 24 November
This full-day event, hosted jointly by the National Churches Trust and St Clement’s Church, Notting Dale, will help you unlock the potential of your building’s heritage and find tangible solutions to the challenge of engaging people with its architecture and history. 
12. Shared Spaces: the Modern Place of Worship, Liverpool, 25 November
Organised by the Baroness Warsi Foundation in partnership with the Empowering Design Practices research project, this debate will explore the potential for places of worship to be shared, by different faith groups, by the wider community, and for mixed uses. Speakers include Dr Andrew Crompton, Head of School of Architecture, University of Liverpool, the Archbishop of Liverpool and Sophia de Sousa, Chief Executive of the Glass-House Community Led Design Practice.
13. Dan Cruickshank talks at St Cuthbert's, Philbeach Gardens, London, Tuesday 29 November
The Friends of St Cuthbert’s Church invite you to an evening with Dan Cruikshank who will be talking about his new book Spitalfields the History of a Nation in a Handful of Streets. Tickets available on the Door (opening 6.15 pm):  £10.00 (£8.00 Concessions and Friends). Refreshment provided at St Cuthbert’s which is one of London’s finest Victorian churches.
14. Heritage Day, Heritage Alliance, the Freemasons Hall, London, WC2B 5AZ, Thursday 1 December
This popular event offers delegates the chance to meet a wide range of colleagues from across the sector, hear eminent speakers address the latest issues affecting the future of our heritage, while also offering the opportunity to take part in a lively Q&A Session. The afternoon will also see the presentation of the Heritage Alliance's Ecclesiastical Heroes Awards.
15. A Colourful History / A Bright Future: Celebrating the Reredos Project at St Cuthbert’s, Wells & Mendip Museum, Cathedral Green, 6 December
The summer's investigations into the two magnificent fifteenth century painted reredos frameworks and the 420 pieces of broken sculpture which once populated them are now complete. This day of presentations and discussion, open to all, will share the project's findings and start the conversation about the sculptures' future.
16. Ecclesiological Society: Annual Dykes Bower Memorial Lecture, London, 12 December
Rt Hon Frank Field, MP previous Chair of the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England, is speaking on 'Britain’s Cathedrals: A Twenty-First Century Mini-Reformation'. His lecture will focus upon the role and work of the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England and draw upon a number of highly significant and successful projects relating to English cathedrals considered and approved by the Commission during his two, five-year terms as Chairman of the Commission.
17. National Churches Trust Christmas Carol Service, St Giles-in-the-Fields, London, 13 December, 6.30-7.30pm
Hosted by Huw Edwards and with special guests including Bill Bryson, join the NCT for an evening of music and readings.  There is no charge for this event: to reserve your seats please contact Emily Beahan on 020 7222 0605 or
18. The Changing Parish Church: from Saxon to Victorian, c. 600-1900, Sussex Archaeological Society, Lewes, 29 April 2017
The impact of changes in how our forebears worshipped, in the architectural styles used for churches, in preferences for different layouts and interior features have left their mark on our parish churches. A one day conference organised by the Sussex Archaeological Society also looks at their future.

Items in this section are for information only, and probably do not require any action
19. English Churches and Cathedrals Sustainability Review
The government made public on 28 October the names of the Panel conducting the  English Churches and Cathedrals Sustainability Review, at
For more information go to
20. Church in Wales Annual Report

The Annual Report of the Church in Wales for 2015 has now been published. The decline in attendance has continued, with a 5% fall over the year in both adults and those under the age of 18. Available here:
21. £40 million funding to support local communities along the HS2 route between London and the West Midlands
On 12 October, the Transport Secretary confirmed that the government is committed to pressing ahead with HS2. Also announced were the £40 million HS2 Community and Environment Fund (CEF) and the Business and Local Economy Fund (BLEF). The CEF will help enhance community facilities, improve access to the countryside and conserve the natural environment along the HS2 Phase One line of route, while the BLEF will support local economies in areas where businesses may experience disruption from the construction of HS2.
22. Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register 2016
Published on 21 October 2016, the Heritage at Risk Register provides annual insight into the state of England’s most valued historic places, bringing attention to the sites across England that are at risk of being lost as a result of neglect, decay or inappropriate development. Places of worship are now included. This year, the Register includes Newington Green Unitarian Church in Hackney, often dubbed the “birthplace of feminism” as the most famous member of its congregation was Mary Wollstonecraft who wrote 'A Vindication of the Rights of Woman' (1792), earning her the name “the Mother of Feminism”. The building is now in poor condition.
23. Ecclesiastical exemption to be retained in Northern Ireland
On 29 September, Communities Minister Paul Givan, MLA, announced that the exemption from Listed Building Consent for places of worship will remain in place. This followed a consultation launched in March, by the then Environment Minister, Mark Durkan on a proposal to remove the ecclesiastical exemption from listed building consent. Instead of abolition, Mark Givan has proposed 'close engagement" between his civil servants, district council officials and the Churches to "support effective decision making as regards changes to places of worship'.
24. St Mary's Quay, Ipswich opened as a Wellbeing Centre
On 17 October, the Churches Conservation Trust in partnership with Suffolk Mind opened St Mary's at the Quay, one of twelve medieval churches in Ipswich, as a Well-being Centre. The aim is that Quay Place will bring together Wellbeing and Heritage to create a place that is inclusive and welcoming to all.

Items in this section may lead to action on your part

25. Why do people light candles?
In advance of their Britain's First Saint  £7m project, (,  the St Alban's cathedral undertook a survey in 2014 to gain some understanding of the inspiration that shrines provide and specifically why people chose to light candles. Across one week volunteers working in pairs, sat by the shrine and approached people after they had lit a candle. The findings were fascinating and you can read more here:
There is also other current research being undertaken as an Open University Project on Pilgrimage and England's Cathedrals Past and Present. Asking two key questions: Why did pilgrimage matter in the past and why does it still matter today, it is focusing on the rich histories and contemporary stories of four important English Cathedrals: Canterbury, Durham, Westminster and York.
26. Methodist Heritage News - Autumn 2016
The latest Methodist Heritage News includes articles on the Half-Shilling Curate, a welcome from Owen Roberts, the new Methodist Heritage Officer, children’s guides to Methodist Heritage site and an update on the new visitor centre for the New Room at John Wesley's Chapel in Bristol.
27. Assessing the Challenges for Managing Historic Major Parish Churches
Research undertaken by a partnership project of Historic England, Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the Greater Churches Network, the Church Buildings Council and Doncaster Minster and funded by Historic England has been looking at 300 major parish churches and gathering information on their physical condition, the challenges they face and the capacity to meet those challenges as well as identifying factors that may impact on future sustainability. The report  has just been published and you can download it from here as well as watching a short film
28. Simon Jenkins writes...

In advance of the publication of his new book England's Cathedrals (Little, Brown Book Group October 2016), Simon Jenkins writes in the Spectator about why, he thinks, cathedrals are growing in popularity.
Slightly more controversially he also wrote an article in the Guardian (10th October) suggesting that the ‘Church of England plainly needs to dispose of a swath of its capacity, probably at least half.
So it agonises not over how to dispose of them but how to fill them. Given that half are rural, it is like praying for a revival not of the church but of the entire middle ages’.
More positively, gloriously illustrated throughout, England's Cathedrals not only offers us a companion to England's Thousand Best Churches, it takes us on an enthralling tour of the nation and its history, through some of our most astonishing buildings.
29. Introduction to Nonconformist Places of Worship
Historic England have published an introduction to Nonconformist Places of Worship in their 'Introduction to Heritage Assets' series.
30. Design Guide for Solar Panels on Buildings
The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) with BRE National Solar Centre, has launched a new design guide for solar panels on buildings. From listed churches to farm buildings and homes, the new national guide shows how panels can look good whatever the structure or surrounding landscape. The leaflet offers 10 guiding principles and a variety of case studies. file:///C:/Users/Rebecca/Downloads/CPREZSolarZDesign.pdf
For specific advice around putting solar panels up on your church building, go to the Shrinking the Footprint website
31. How the use of church drones can help us with church maintenance
As part of the National Churches Trust's Yorkshire Maintenance Project, a series of drone surveys of churches has been carried out by the Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA). MOLA have produced  3D interactive models of two historic churches in Yorkshire to explore the ways that this technology could be valuable to enabling effective  maintenance.
32. Historic England Describe the Purpose of Listing
Historic England (HE) have added a page to their website describing the purpose and evolution of list descriptions for listed buildings.
Although HE does not say this, it may be particularly useful in clarifying how much (or how little) attention should be paid to the list description in assessing the significance of a church building for which change is proposed.

33. Marsh Awards for Innovative Church Projects
Nominations for the Marsh Awards for Innovative Projects 2017 are now open. We're looking for the Christian congregations running the most innovative community activities in a church building, made possible through the installation of new facilities. Nominations close 13 January 2017.
34. The SPAB’s John Betjeman Award 2017
Applications are now open for the SPAB’s John Betjeman Award 2017. The Award celebrates excellence in conservation and repair projects at places of worship of any faith in England and Wales (and the Isle of Man); and recognises the highest standards of craftsmanship used in carrying out those projects.
The Award is made for repair or conservation of fabric, fittings or furnishings carried out in the last 18 months at an historic church, chapel or other faith building which remains in use for worship. However, cathedrals of any denomination are not eligible. It is not essential that the building is listed as being of architectural or historic interest – its age or architectural significance is less important than the quality of the repair. The closing date for entries is 21 February 2017
35. Reminder: Best Church Monument Guide Competition
The Church Monuments Society (CMS) is running a competition to find the best church guide book.
In 2016/17, the CMS will award a prize of £200 for the church guide or leaflet which provides the best guide to that church's funerary and other monuments. The closing date is 31 December 2016.

36. Guidance on Writing Business Plans
The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) have just produced an updated tool to help with the writing of business plans for those in the charity and voluntary sector. It includes templates as well as guidance.
37. Gift aid registration surgeries from Catalyst Cymru
6 December 2016 - Colwyn Bay
13 December 2016 - Cardiff
These workshops will look at the process of registering for and claiming Gift Aid in five simple steps, and it will also cover recent changes. They are aimed at those organisations not already registered with HMRC to claim Gift Aid, but will also be useful to those who are already registered who want to ensure that they are claiming on everything to which they are entitled and/or who want an update. Email for more details.
38. SUEZ Communities Trust Landfill Communities Fund - Smaller Projects Fund (England)
Applications are welcomed, with grants up to a maximum of £20,000 available. Grants are available for not-for-profit organisations in qualifying areas of England for physical improvement to community facilities, such as village halls, public parks, sports facilities, historic buildings and structures. Closing date 23rd January 2017.
39. Powys War Memorials Project 2014-18: A Mark of Respect
Powys County Council has secured funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), Cadw (Welsh Government's historic environment service) and the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority (BBNPA) for the Powys War Memorials Project 2014-2018: A Mark of Respect. The four year project commemorates the centenary of World War 1.
One outcome of the project is to provide a rolling programme of repair/ restoration work to World War 1 memorials in Powys. The project can provide funding of up to about £2500 for each memorial. The project can also provide funding of up to £200 for improvements to war memorial surroundings or settings. There are also opportunities for support for educational and learning activities.
For more information go to the website For details of how to apply for grants, please contact the Nathan Davies, Powys War Memorials Project Officer
40. National Churches Trust's Grant Programmes relaunches for 2017
The deadlines for two of the NCT's grant programmes have been announced as 29 November 2016, 27 February 2017 and 3 July 2017. Have a look at the website to see the details of how and when to apply for the Community Grants and Repairs Grants programmes.
41. WREN Community Action Fund Re-Opens
Waste Recycling Environmental (WREN) is currently accepting applications from voluntary and community groups in England and Wales to maintain or improve a public park or other public amenity. Applications are welcomed from registered charities which operate a community facility including Churches or Parochial Church Councils.
42. Fundraising Planning & Developing a Mixed Fundraising Model: to save St John the Baptist, Kingston Lisle - a Giving to Heritage Webinar
As part of its range of training options available, the Giving to Heritage also offers webinars. On 6 October, it was the turn of Angus Saer, Churchwarden at St John the Baptist, Kingston Lisle. He spoke about how he developed a clear strategy and fundraising plan which secured over 20 different grants raising nearly half a million to restore this C12th church previously on the Heritage at Risk Register. It is about 40mins long and very well worth listening to as it offers some inspirational thinking, practical ideas and personal lessons learnt.
43. Full winter risk advice for churches
The onset of the cold weather will bring the usual related problems for churches and associated properties. Ecclesiastical has produced practical guidance on how to deal with some of the most common issues including heating and burst pipes. You can download for free from
44. New ways of exploring the heritage of churches using 3D modelling
In a guest post on the National Churches Trust blog, Jacob Scott, who is part of the Events and Services Team at Rochester Cathedral, writes about how virtual reconstruction can help us tell the stories of our church buildings through centuries or even millennia
45. Bright Ideas Community Business Fund Invites Applications
The two-year £1.85 million Bright Ideas Community Business Fund is open for applications from community groups and organisations that need support to set up their community business in England. This Fund is jointly funded by Power to Change and the Department for Communities and Local Government. The programme will be delivered on their behalf by a consortium including Co-operatives UK, Plunkett Foundation and Groundwork UK, led by Locality.
46. National Maintenance Week: 18-25 November

National Maintenance Week is an annual campaign run by the SPAB to encourage owners and caretakers of old buildings to carry out routine maintenance tasks before the Winter weather fully sets in. Resources are available via the campaign website: and additional information and support specifically aimed at churches can be found on the SPAB’s Maintenance Co-Operatives Project website: . Watch out for more information from the SPAB during the week itself.
The week includes National Gutters Day on Friday 25 November – a good prompt to take the opportunity to clear out the gutters of your church.


47. Caring for your Church Building by James Halsall
James Halsall has been the DAC Secretary at the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipwich for over 20 years. Using his experience he has written an invaluable handbook for churchwardens and others who have volunteered to look after a church of building. It de-mystifies quinquennial inspections, seeking faculty, grants as well as looking at the issues around heating, lighting and new facilities.
48. Fifty English Steeples, the finest Medieval Parish Church Towers and Spires in England by Julian Flannery
An astonishing achievement following five years of detailed and original research, this book presents the first systematic survey of the fifty most important medieval parish church towers and spires in England, covering a period of some 500 years. With over 75 high-quality photographs and around 175 immaculate explanatory line drawings.


49. The Scottish Redundant Churches Trust  -  Board Members/Trustees
The Scottish Redundant Churches Trust (SRCT) is looking for dynamic new trustees to join the board at an exciting time of change for the organisation. Many of Scotland’s historic places of worship face an uncertain future and the SRCT is gearing up to respond to the challenge.
New Trustees will assist in driving forward the transition process and the shaping and resourcing of the organisation to meet the changing needs of the religious heritage sector. They will also support the raising of the profile of the sector and its cultural and social value. If you would like to know more, see or please contact the Director, Victoria Collison-Owen., 0131 563 5135. Applications should be by CV and a covering letter explaining why you are interested in the role and how you think your skills and experience relate to their work.

50. Project and Activity Coordinator for the St Marylebone Changing Lives project
The St Marylebone PCC has successfully achieved a Round 1 pass from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), to develop the parish church as a heritage and cultural venue. They now seek to appoint a Project and Activity Coordinator, which will be a proactive role, acting as a key client interface between parish, local community, project partners and the consultant team appointed to deliver the Round 2 HLF bid. The closing date for applications is midday on Monday 14th November. A job description is available from

A few words from … will return next month
If you would be happy to take part in the Finally series, please contact the editor.
The deadline for information to go in the next e-newsletter is Friday 25 November though earlier submissions are encouraged! Please email:
Lucy Jacob
HRBA Newsletter Editor
1 November 2016


Copyright © 2016 Historic Religious Buildings Alliance, All rights reserved.
Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp