Dozens of churches and chapels are to receive a share of almost £7 million in grants for essential repairs, English Heritage has announced.
The Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage announced a package of grants worth £6.87 million for more than 70 Grade-II listed places of worship across England.
The largest single grant of £251,000 will go to St Mark’s Church, Lakenham in Norfolk, to repair its leaking roof, while Bournville's St Francis of Assisi church in Birmingham will also receive a grant for essential maintenance.
Another recipient is Holy Trinity Church, Anfield, Merseyside, which will be given £138,000 towards vital repairs on the gutters on the building, which is part of the regeneration plans surrounding Liverpool FC’s new stadium.
St James’ Church in Heckmondwick, West Yorkshire, built during the 1830s using a Parliamentary fund to mark the return of peace to Europe following the downfall of Napoleon, is to get £59,000 to repair rotten roof timbers.
Other places to receive grants include the Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic church in Reading which serves the town’s Polish community.
Simon Thurley, chief executive of English Heritage, said: “England’s churches and chapels are the spiritual, communal and architectural backbone of our villages, towns and cities.
“English Heritage, once again this year, is proud to be supporting the repair of these historic buildings. We hope our contribution will allow them to remain in use by the communities that enjoy them.”
Carole Souter, chief executive at the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: “Places of worship of all kinds are at the centre of community life and are extremely important to local people.
“In addition to their religious significance and the character that they add to towns and villages, these are living buildings which often host a diverse range of activities, from martial arts classes to mother and toddler groups.”
She said the Repair Grants for Places of Worship scheme, which has awarded more than £133 million to more than 1,500 historic places of worship since 2002, made a “significant difference” to the long-term prospects of the buildings.