If you are involved in looking after your local place of worship, we hope you will find the resources on this page helpful and inspiring.
Places of Worship include churches, chapels, meeting houses, synagogues, gurdwaras, temples, mandirs, mosques and other buildings not constructed as religious centres but now used by belief groups - eg former cinemas and schools.
Criteria for Protection
Selection guides for buildings and structures in a wide range of categories have proved themselves to be essential tools in assessing candidates for listing designation. In each guide, an historical introduction is followed by a consideration of designation issues, together with sources of further information.
English Heritage's Role
English Heritage has a defined, but limited, statutory role as a consultee in the planning process. The earlier English Heritage can get involved in a project, the more helpful we can be, so please contact your local office for an informal discussion of your preliminary ideas. Other organisations, known as the statutory amenity societies, may also have to be consulted. e.g. the Georgian, Victorian or 20th Century society. Your local authority may also need to be involved.
National amenity societies and English Heritage are consulted on applications for certain types of work to listed places of worship. Their advice is considered by the relevant decision-making body – which may be the local authority or denominational advisory body (Church of England, Roman Catholic Church, Methodist Church, Baptist Union, United Reformed Church) - but they do not themselves give permission.
English Heritage and Faith Buildings
A large amount of English Heritage's statutory and grants casework involves places of worship, so over the past 25 years we have gained considerable experience of dealing with faith buildings and their communities.
Nevertheless we are always trying to improve our knowledge and understanding, which is why we recently organised group discussions involving representatives from local authorities, clergy and lay members of congregations to explore what places of worship meant to them, what the challenges were in using and maintaining them and what they saw as the future of their buildings.
Looking for Inspiration?
Why not take a look at some of the things that are happening around the country.
The Church of England keeps a bank of examples covering a variety of development projects around the country to provide inspiration for parishes and illustrate the important role that church buildings play in their communities. View the Case Studies below.