English Heritage is keen that everyone should have the opportunity to experience and enjoy the historic environment. Few historic buildings are as easy to visit as the parish church and hundreds of buildings no longer used for worship are kept open for visitors by charitable trusts.
Heritage Open Days and the Ride and Stride weekend also provide excellent opportunities to see historic places of worship.
The Churches Conservation Trust is responsible for over 340 of England's most beautiful and historic churches that are no longer needed for regular worship. They promote public enjoyment of these churches, and encourage their use as an educational and community resource.
The Friends of Friendless Churches own over 40 former places of worship, half in England and half in Wales, which they have saved from demolition, decay and unsympathetic conversion. They preserve the buildings, undertaking repair where necessary, making them peaceful spaces for visitors and the local community to enjoy.
The Historic Chapels Trust was formed in 1993 and owns 20 chapels and other places of worship of outstanding architectural and historic interest. The object is to secure their preservation, repair and maintenance for public benefit, including contents, burial grounds and ancillary buildings.
Grant-Aided Places of Worship
It is a principle of the Repair Grants for Places of Worship scheme that the public should have a right to see the buildings for which they have contributed to their repair.
All grant-aided places of worship are therefore required to provide access for at least 40 days a year, outside hours of worship.
See our searchable database of grant-aided buildings you can visit.