The care of historic places of worship in England relies heavily on worshipping congregations themselves. Yet many congregations do not have the specialist skills necessary to look after a historic building and it is unrealistic to expect them to do so.
After all, people do not join a church in order to look after the building and since major repair projects or re-orderings occur at most once in a generation there is little opportunity to build up expertise.
English Heritage would like to see the task of looking after historic places of worship made easier for congregations by the wider provision of ‘Support Officers’ who can work alongside congregations and give them access to a wide range of skills and advice.
We can offer funding for partner organisations to employ Support Officers on 3-year contracts. Such posts are likely to be found most useful in dioceses or other denominational bodies, but we will consider applications from any organisation with a role in using, managing or conserving numbers of listed places of worship.
The work of each individual Support Officer would be tailored to local needs, but in general they will:
- identify buildings most in need of support
- create a local management strategy for historic places of worship
- give advice to individual congregations on the care of their buildings
Expressions of interest can be made either to the Places of Worship Team on 020 7973 3267, or to the relevant English Heritage Local Office.