1. Minister for Heritage
1. Caroline Dinenage, the Minister responsible for Heritage, gave the opening address at our Big Update last week in a pre-recorded video. She described this as her first major engagement as Heritage Minister.

  • In a warm speech, she talked about the 'astounding' work done by places of worship during the 'challenging conditions' of the pandemic, saying how this has highlighted 'the continuing value of faith buildings to our national life'.
  • She reminded us how the Government has supported listed places of worship, particularly throught the multi-million pound Cultural Recovery Fund, and how the sector will continue to be supported.
  • Encouragingly, the Minister said she was aware of the value that the sector places on the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme, which it had previously been announced would be extended until March 2022, and she said that DCMS 'will continue to work with our partners including the Treasury, MHCLG and Historic England to make sure you are supported for the longer term'.
  • She also mentioned the Taylor Review Pilot, and how it will help inform future decisions on funding and support, and invited the sector to 'keep talking to us' on this topic.

The HRBA is grateful to the Minister for taking time to talk to us, and for the helpful tone of her comments. You can read a transcript of her speech here.

2. Heritage Digital
I recently attended a Zoom seminar on 'Getting started with creating video content'. It was exceptionally good. It is now available online, and I can recommend it to anyone who feels they want to understand a bit more about producing heritage video - whether to do it themselves or commission someone else.

Amazingly, it is free of charge, provided by the Heritage Digital programme (funded by NLHF). The general website is here  with lots of good things, including the offer of one-to-one support, and the link to the particular seminar I attended is here (click on the 'watch here' tab).
3. Rebuilding Heritage
We advertised the 'Rebuilding Heritage' programme in a previous newsletter, and I'm glad to say that five places of worship were successful in applying for the scheme.

In summary, it provides free one-to-one and group support for individuals and organisations in the heritage sector in leadership, business planning, fundraising, communications, and wellbeing. (It's funded by the NHLF and coordinated by the Heritage Alliance.) It's worth emphasising that this is not just for large outfits - I think it could well be useful to historic religious buildings which rely on tourism or property rental or venue hire - indeed, any business activity which has collapsed due the pandemic.

Applications for the next round of advice and support close on 30 March. I am told that the application process takes less than half an hour, and there is a high success rate. You can find out more, and apply, at

4. Big Update and Organisational Updates
Finally, the Big Update slides and videos are now available on our site. Even if you did not attend, you might like to look at the Organisational Updates provided in advance by more than a dozen organisations. It's all on our website at

HRBA’s monthly series from ‘our Roving Reporter
Our Roving Reporter is having a month off. There will be a new story for March.
The idea is to inspire and get people thinking about what they might be able to do. So, in the meantime, if you have story or a project you would like to share, please do send your ideas to Becky Payne This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

There are still a few places for the Big Update taking place on 10th March 2021 
Taking place on Zoom from 10,30am – 5.30pm, this is your chance to keep up to date with what’s happening to secure the future of historic religious buildings.

We made alterations from previous years to allow for the strengths and weaknesses of Zoom – briefer talks, interviews, short videos and a particularly visual session dedicated to laser scanning and photogrammetry. Book here for online booking

Members'-only notice about 2021 subscription renewals
The annual Members' Briefing will be sent out electronically shortly together with invoices for renewals.  No increases are planned. Please notify Diana Coulter on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  of any changes to contact details so that we may make the renewal process as smooth as possible. 
Georgian Group Online Lecture: James Gibb’s St Mary Le Strand, 15 March, 18.30 
Join the Georgian Group to hear from William Aslet on the design of Church of St Mary-le-Strand. Aslet will argue that the church responds precisely to its unique site. Far from a failure to keep up with the trends of the age, it was the building that launched Gibbs' career.
The SPAB: A Marriage of Minds: John Betjeman and John Piper: An online lecture by Professor Frances Spalding CBE, 25 March 2021, 18:15 - 20:30
Join the SPAB and the Betjeman Society for an evening lecture by Professor Frances Spalding CBE. The lecture will explore the personal friendship and creative collaborations of poet, architectural commentator and broadcaster Sir John Betjeman and artist John Piper.
NB this event was previously advertised as an in-person event, but will now take place online.
The SPAB: Tour of St Anne's Church, Limehouse, London, with a talk by architect Julian Harrap, 7 September 2021, 18:00 - 20:00
Join the SPAB and the Betjeman Society for a visit to the remarkable church of St Anne's, Limehouse, one of the five churches designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor under the Fifty New Churches Act of 1711.
NB: this event was originally scheduled for April and has now been postponed.

Saving St Denis: a transformation at East Hatley presented live by Rachel Morley 1 April 2021, 12.00-13.30
This little Cambridgeshire church combines ancient origins with substantial nineteenth work by William Butterfield. Having fallen into serious disrepair it was stripped out and abandoned in the 1960s. In 2016 the church was transferred to the charity Friends of Friendless Churches. Its Director, Rachel Morley, describes the local dedication and careful work which is gently transforming St Denis from an ivy-smothered semi-ruin to a building with a bright future.

The Victorian Society’s Springtime lectures, Tuesdays in March, 19.00
This year's Springtime Lectures are focusing on seven great Victorian architects including the Gothic revivalist G.F. Bodley and his friendship with William Morris. Others include the architects Temple Moore, A W N  Pugin, John Francis Bentley, and William Leiper
The Centre for Parish Church Studies: Toothache, Saints, and Churches in Medieval England, 11 March 2021, 11.00-12.00
Join Dr John Beal for this lecture, part of a short series of public Zoom lectures for the winter season, exploring various aspects of church history and architecture.
The Churches Conservation Trust lunchtime lectures
 A series of online talks every Thursday at 1pm.
Virtual events calendar
The National Churches Trust are listing events on their website, so that you can support some of the lectures, talks, plays and concerts that are taking place in the UK's church buildings as well as attending conferences and training sessions.
Corona advice page on HRBA website
HRBA continues to update its Coronavirus advice page on our website where we collate all the latest Covid-19 information which is relevant for places of worship. Here you will find updates on the latest guidance from the majority of denominations from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
This also signposts to the Government published advice for the safe use of multi-purpose community facilities which is relevant to churches, church halls as well as village halls. 
In previous newsletters we have also an additional provided a substantial list of organisations providing advice on funding and other matters relevant to the Coronavirus pandemic. This list is now on our website at (scroll down to section 5).
The Church of England and ChurchCare
The Church of England’s Coronavirus pages are being continually updated (the advice will be useful for all denominations). This includes Historic England’s and the Church Buildings Council’s guidance on cleaning and disinfecting historic surfaces.
Heritage Sector Volunteer Survey
Historic England is asking for your help to find out about the impact of COVID-19 on heritage organisations that need support from volunteers to keep the organisation sustainable.  They welcome feedback from organisations of all sizes and types so we can understand the support needs of the heritage sector at this challenging time, so please respond to this survey, whether your organisation is entirely volunteer-led or only has a few volunteer roles. This is obviously very relevant to places of worship. Deadline 3 March 2021
York St John University 2nd Survey: The impact of lockdown on churchgoers
York St John University has commissioned a survey to get a sense of how clergy and lay people have coped with the last year.  One of the questions being asked is whether online services are the way forward.  Please take the opportunity to take part in this crucial research project.
Cathedrals, Good to Go Even Further
You can read around up of what Cathedrals are achieving in 2021. As of 18 February, 5 cathedrals were Vaccine centres/covid testing centres: Blackburn, Lichfield, Salisbury, Worcester, Rochester.
Working with the Church Buildings Council on the Dove Bell Register
The Central Council and the Church Buildings Council of the Church of England (CBC) have agreed that the Dove Bell Register will now be the primary store for all bell and bell frame data held by both organisations, with the CBC supporting the enrichment of Dove with the additional data that they have been collecting in the past few years.
The Register is a detailed guide to Towers throughout the World with Bells used for Change Ringing. First published in book form by Ronald H Dove in 1950, the online guide is managed by the Central Council of Church Bell
Future for Religious Heritage
This month’s country is German and features an article which takes a look at the state of religious heritage under threat in Germany as well as the efforts that are being made to protect them

Experiencing Sacred Wales
This funded project led by ExploreChurches in partnership with Visit Wales, the Church in Wales, Addoldai Cymru, Friends of Friendless Churches and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales and is nearly at an end. You can find all about the wonderful sacred heritage of Wales, particularly those along the Wales Way here
Exploring Sacred Wales Experiences
The National Churches Trust have also just unveiled new tourism packages exploring Wales’ world-class sacred spots. This series of bespoke tours combines Wales’ sacred places and beauty spots alongside activities such as kayaking along the Pembrokeshire coast and cycling through Anglesey, exploring pilgrim churches en route, to churchyard stargazing and willow weaving workshops, the experiences are designed to reveal the very best of Wales’ rich culture, history, heritage and environment.

Foundation for Jewish Heritage Annual Review 2020
Reflecting both on the first five years of its operation, and on the Foundation's achievements in 2020, the report is available here
National Lottery Grants for Heritage: the NLHF has reopened for project funding 
The funding will support a broad range of heritage projects and activities, such as industrial sites, castles and historic places of worship, to the stories and memories of communities, and through to public parks, natural landscapes and native wildlife.
There are new strategic priorities and the process will prioritise projects that contribute to the national recovery from Coronavirus by ‘boosting the local economy, encouraging skills development and job creation, supporting wellbeing, creating better places to live, work and visit or improving the resilience of organisations working in heritage.
Applications for grants from £3,000 to £5 million are now welcome. Capital works and repair and conservation works are eligible.

The Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme to be renewed
The Government has announced that the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme will be renewed this year, operating on the same terms as previously. We are assuming this means it is now extended until 31st  March 2022.
This is the scheme that allows listed places of worship to claim a sum equal to VAT which has been paid on repairs and alterations. It was due to cease running at the end of this financial year. The continuation of this level of Government support is very good news indeed.

The Prince’s Countryside Fund Reopens for Applications
This funding round is offering grants of up to £10,000 for innovative projects that build resilience through community-led solutions, from groups and organisations who are working in villages and hamlets with populations of less than 3,000 residents. Deadline: 19 March 2021.
Stir to Action: New Economy Programme is open
Their Spring 2021 programme of webinars offer capacity-building training for local communities, democratic businesses, third sector organisations, and activists. 
Frost protection
There is new guidance on the website on managing frost protection in church buildings. Churches being used less often during Covid will maybe find this particularly helpful, but its advice is good for all churches that do not have users every day during the winter where a decision will need to be made about frost protection. Please encourage use of this guidance, February is often a cold month.
New guidance for livestreaming
Published as part of the Covid-19 response, this is specifically for streaming from church buildings.
There is separate guidance will be issued shortly on the use of CCTV for security. CCTV and livestreaming are legally distinct with different regulations applying. Equipment installed for one purpose should not be used for the other.
Audio-visual equipment on Parish Buying
Parish Buying has started a new category with suppliers of AV equipment to churches.
Installing broadband?
Parish Buying has been working with the DCMS and the installers to make sure that churches can get the location information needed to have broadband installed. There is a new page on Parish Buying about this, with a solution. Essentially it should (slowly) help resolve the postcode issue by allowing churches to find out their UPRN (universal property reference number).
The Church of England’s Environment programme
The CofE is holding a series of webinars and events designed to support and equip churches to reach the ambitious ‘net zero' carbon emissions target. March topics include
  • The Effective Management of Church Lighting,
  • Toward Net Zero Church Heating – to replace or not replace?
  • Solar Panels for churches
  • and much more.
Generous giving webinars
The National Giving team is proud to offer a series of free webinars to help churches encourage giving and grow generosity. In these webinars we will guide you through ways to encourage giving, such as online, contactless and legacy giving, as well as how to save money with Parish Buying. To register visit here.
Cleaning and Health and Safety supplies
Both Parish Buying and Church Buying are making available cleaning, handwash and other supplies in preparation for the gradual re-opening of places of worship and
You can also access Coronavirus resources for churches here including signage and PPE equipment
Heritage Digital
The key resources and webinars and a range of case studies are now accessible through the project portal and includes:
  • A guide to growing and engaging audiences online
  • How digital skills can transform the heritage sector
  • Getting started with data
  • Copyright and suppliers: how to get the rights you need in new digital content
You do need to register.
There is now a short video you can watch that neatly explains what is on offer
The Search is on for the 2021 Sustainable Project of the Year
The National Lottery Fund is sponsoring a sustainability award for the second year at the 2021 Museums and Heritage Awards.
This award will be made to an outstanding environmentally sustainable project or exhibition which can demonstrate best practice in your approach to managing environmental impacts, for example; energy efficiency measures, recycling and reuse, sustainable procurement, and green visitor travel planning and encouragement.
Association for Heritage Interpretation Engaging People Awards 2021
The AHI Awards are a badge of interpretive excellence awarded by peers, show audiences why they should visit, and recognise organisations for their hard work in creating excellent visitor experiences and community engagement in heritage, nature, culture, or science. 
This year there is a Lockdown Response Award for projects created to engage with and interpret remotely when organisations had to close.
Honorary Secretary for the Cambridgeshire Historic Churches Trust (CHCT)
The Trustees of the CHCT wish to appoint an Honorary Secretary on the retirement of the current post holder.  The successful applicant will be committed to the work of the Trust, be skilled in administration and information technology (IT) and be a good communicator.
Applicants should write a letter of application (no more than 2 sides of A4) giving details of their experience and suitability for the post.  The letter should be accompanied by a CV (not more than one side of A4) together with the names and addresses of two referees.  The starting date will be by negotiation and no later than 1 May 2021. 
Applications should be sent to Canon David Pritchard by email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or by post to 2 Chapel Lane, Little Downham, Ely, Cambs. CB6 2TN as soon as possible.  Preliminary expressions of interest will be welcome - please contact Canon Pritchard by phone (07470-072322).
Please see the website ( for further information about the Trust.
Executive Officer to the DAC, Diocese of Norwich
£36,162, full-time
The diocese is looking for a suitably experienced person to lead on our work with church buildings and to work collaboratively with staff and stakeholders. This is an exciting time as we care for our many historic buildings, but also imaginatively review their future and look for innovative and challenging solutions.
Applications close on 12 March, and full details are available

Property Business Manager, Diocese of Winchester
Full time
The Diocese of Winchester is seeking to recruit a Property Business Manager to manage the diocesan property portfolio, maximising income streams from sales and developments to support our mission and ministry.
Closing date: 08/03/2021
Where to apply:

The deadline for information to go in the next e-newsletter is Friday 26 March 2021 though earlier submissions are encouraged! Please email:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Lucy Jacob

HRBA Newsletter Editor
1 March 2021