Latest News from The Church Building Council:
In response to a question generated by casework Ecclesiastical has produced a new guidance note on wood burning stoves. Its straightforward and clear guidance should be helpful to churches considering this form of heating. The note is part of the wider heating guidance provided by Ecclesiastical.
Some parishes are being targeted with material relating to a change in the energy marker in April 2018. Parish Buying has helpfully provided an explanation of this – and shows why it is not relevant to nearly every parish church. The changes relate only to electricity supplies that have half hourly meters.
Some companies (who are energy brokers) are using the changes as an excuse to contact parishes and then to sell them energy contracts. If you are unsure about whether you have a half hourly meter or have any questions then you can simply email or call Parish Buying using the details below and they will be able to give you the right advice whether or not you buy your energy through Parish Buying.
A full guidance note, with an illustration to help identify your type of electricity meter is here, please feel free to contact parish buying on 0800 368 0887 or by email. It would be helpful if you could share this advice with any parishes concerned after receiving targeted advertising.
Discounts on LED lighting
Available for all CofE churches, dioceses and cathedrals, the Parish Buying Service have a new lighting supplier ‘LED Hut’. They are giving phenomenal discounts on bulbs to Parish Buying members. We encourage all churches to replace their old-style halogen bulbs with LED’s because they use up to 90% less energy than traditional lighting sources, with 90% less heat for the same light output. No mercury is used in the manufacture of LED bulbs, unlike the previous generation of low wattage CFL bulbs, and they have an average life of nearly fifty times more than a traditional incandescent light bulb and over six times more than compact florescent bulbs (which means less frequent bulb replacement, which means much less greenhouse gas produced in manufacture, distribution and installation). This not only reduces energy bills but also helps to save the environment.
To use the discounted pricing, churches (and cathedrals or dioceses) simply need to register for free with the Parish Buying Service. They can then create a LED Hut account to view the products and seek advice, if needed, on what to buy.
Revised metal theft guidance from Historic England
Historic England has revised is guidance on metal theft, and published it online as a text only version. Sections 4 and 5 are most relevant before a theft, with advice on prevention. An illustrated edition of the guidance will follow later in the year.
In light of the recent tragic events in Manchester and London we would like to draw your attention to the fact that the Church of England website has a section dedicated to security which provides links to a wide range of relevant advice.
The commemorations of the end of the First World War in 2018 has given rise to fresh interest in beacons on church towers. Ecclesiastical has revised its guidance on church tower beacons, which is available here.
Grants and Funding
Grants and funding are available to help churches meet the costs of repairs to church buildings. To download a booklet on Charitable Grants for Churches please click here or see below for a list of available grants:
The Yorkshire Maintenance Project has been created by the National Churches Trust to aid churches in maintaining their church buildings especially in relation to gutter clearance. They are working with The Pilgrim Trust to create micro-grants to aid parishes in maintaining their gutters. This is for 50% for the cost of the first year of guttering clearance. The project is hoping to secure fixed prices for gutter clearance so parishes know exactly how much they will have to pay. For more information please contact Janet Edmond or telephone 07734 392445. You can download a PowerPoint presentation on the Project here.
Grants for conservation reports 2017
In 2017, with thanks to the Pilgrim Trust for their generous support, ChurchCare has a fund of £35,000 towards costs for initial investigations (conservation reports, environmental / building performance surveys, technical analyses) to determine appropriate conservation works for items of historic, artistic or archaeological significance in churches. Conservation reports are an essential first step in projects involving the repair and conservation of artworks and historic furnishings in churches. They are also a key document to support faculty and grant applications. Applications are encouraged for items that are in urgent need of conservation. More information here.
Tesco Bags of Help Grants Programme. The money raised from the 5p bag charge in Tesco stores in England, Wales and Scotland is being used to support community participation in the development and use of open spaces. Church yard improvements have been funded in previous rounds. From December each Tesco region will give away around £8,000 per month, spread over three projects. Applications should be made up to and around £5,000. No deadline. For support contact Mark on email@example.com Apply at: www.groundwork.org.uk/Sites/tescocommunityscheme
National Churches Trust Grants
The National Churches Trust support a wide variety of projects through their grant programmes. From repairing a roof to helping to install an accessible toilet - and many other projects - their grants help people to continue to serve, and to serve better, their local communities. To find out more about applying for a grant, please go to the following website: http://www.nationalchurchestrust.org/our-grants.
Heritage Lottery Fund - The Heritage Lottery Fund offer grants for a range of different works. Please click here for more information.
The Department of Communities and Local Government has confirmed that churches are eligible for Flood Resilience Grants of up to £5k.
Previously, churches had mixed messages from local authorities who have been administering the grants, it had not been clear that churches are eligible. If you have any further difficulties please contact Kirsten Firth.
For further advice on funding please also see the ChurchCare website.