Crumbling churches and chapels in the West Midlands h ave been awarded £1.7 million in a bid to repair and retain their historical features.
The grants, awarded by English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund, form part of a national package of £17.5 million to repair 147 Grade I and II* listed religious buildings across England.
Church leaders and MPs welcomed the contribution but called on the Government to dig deeper and offer more cash to ensure the historic buildings were saved from ruin.
Frank Dobson MP, chair-man of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Historic Churches, said: "These grants are a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done if the churches and chapels which form such a large part of our architectural heritage are to be put in good condition and helped to stay there.
"The religious groups, English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund have made a great deal of progress towards getting a grip on the scale and urgency of what is needed.
"The recent get-together of interested groups convened by Heritage Minister David Lammy indicated his commitment. What is needed now is some more money from both Government and other sources."
Since 2002, more than £8 million of repair grants have been awarded to 112 of the West Midlands' historic places of worship through the scheme, which is the largest single source of funds for work of this kind.
But, for each building which the scheme is able to help, there are many others where congregations are struggling to meet repair bills.
In May English Heritage will launch a campaign called Inspired to quantify the scale of the problem and propose solutions.
It will also promote greater recognition of the work by devoted volunteers which helps keep invaluable parts of the national heritage alive.
As part of Inspired, English Heritage is finding out where the need for outside support is most urgent so that practical help can be offered to congregations which lack the people or expertise to run a repair project or apply for grants.
Simon Thurley, chief executive of English Heritage, said: "The substantial financial support English Heritage provides to church buildings and other places of worship through this scheme is a drop in the ocean compared with the huge amounts raised by dedicated volunteers and popular support.
"Places of worship are close to the heartbeat of our communities - the baptisms, weddings and funerals of the people we love take place in these buildings.
"This is why so many people, believers and nonbelievers alike, care about places of worship and, confronted with their imminent loss, invariably rally around to save them.
"The key to long-term security is going to be about understanding the nature of the problem properly, tackling it rationally and methodically, partly through more money, but also by helping people on the ground to help themselves by offering support and expertise where it is most needed."